Donte T Wyatt -
What can your criminal attorney do for your DV case?
Domestic Violence ( DV )
Criminal charges that arise out of the home are always complicated and emotionally charged. An experienced criminal
defense attorney understands the nuances and elements of these situations and has experience handling them in
court. Domestic Violence is a general term for criminal offenses (assaults, threats etc.) that occur in the home,
and more specifically between to partners. The law has outlined particular charges that specifically apply to these
situations. For example a simple battery is a violation of Penal Code section 242, however a battery on a
significant other in a violation of Penal Code section 243(e). The law distinguishes between batteries that involve
partners, versus batteries that involve simple, friends associates and strangers.
Now there is even further distinction between the various charges that focus on domestic violence. The primary
charge filed in most Domestic Violence Cases is a violation of Penal Code section 273.5. Penal Code section 273.5
makes it illegal to inflict corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition on one's spouse, cohabitant (or
former cohabitants) or a person that you share a child with. Penal Code section 243(e)(1) expands the parameters
outlined in Penal Code section 273.5 to include people that have or have had a dating relationship. These two
statues are further distinguished by the fact that Penal Code section 273.5 requires a traumatic condition (a
bruise or visible injury).
PC 243 (e)(1) When a battery is committed against a spouse, a person with whom the defendant is cohabiting, a
person who is the parent of the defendant's child, former spouse, fiance, or fiancee, or a person with whom the
defendant currently has, or has previously had, a dating or engagement relationship, the battery is punishable by a
fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than
one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment. If probation is granted, or the execution or imposition of the
sentence is suspended, it shall be a condition thereof that the defendant participate in, for no less than one
year, and successfully complete, a batterer's treatment program, as described in Section 1203.097, or if none is
available, another appropriate counseling program designated by the court. However, this provision shall not be
construed as requiring a city, a county, or a city and county to provide a new program or higher level of service
as contemplated by Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
PC 273.5 Any person who willfully inflicts upon a person who is his or her spouse, former spouse, cohabitant,
former cohabitant, or the mother or father of his or her child, corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition
is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two,
three, or four years, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of up to six thousand dollars
($6,000) or by both that fine and imprisonment.
Now Domestic Violence charges can be defended like most other assault charges, however generally identification of
the defendant is not an issue all other self defense claims are applicable. Most Domestic Violence cases arise out
of arguments, and when two people are arguing the person who is accusing the defendant has a motive to lie. In
addition, with the general motive to lie people in domestic violence situations are often hurt emotionally and
often use the criminal justice system to strike back at their partner. There are also occasions where there are on
going custody disputes and or divorce proceedings and the accusing party tries to use the criminal justice system
as leverage in there family law case.
An experience criminal defense attorney knows how to recognize all of these unique issues and mount the appropriate
defense based of the facts of your particular case. Criminal Defense Attorney Donte T. Wyatt has a great deal of
experience dealing with these complicated cases. He has not only represented people charged with these types of
offenses, but as a prosecutor he reviewed, filed, and or prosecuted hundreds of these types of cases.
DVRP (Domestic Violence Recovery Program)
The Domestic Violence Recovery Program is a 52 week counseling program that is designed to rehabilitate individuals
who are convicted of domestic violence offenses. The prosecution generally advocates to have this program ordered
as a condition of probation on any domestic violence case and under certain circumstances the class may be legally
The program usually consist of group and or one on one counseling coupled with homework designed to teach the
participant to empathize with the victim and to find solutions other than violence to resolve conflicts and deal
Protective Order (Penal Code section 273.6)
In most domestic violence cases the court will order a protective order pending trial. The protective order
prevents the defendant from contacting or communicating with the victim. The court will often issue the protective
order over the objection of the victim. Generally, the court will not lift the protective order, or modify it to a
good conduct order unless the defendant has began the DVRP class and or done something to show the court and the
prosecutor that he or she does not pose a danger to the victim.
If a person is convicted of a domestic violence offense the court will generally sign and issue a post conviction
protective order and if the defendant is placed on probation it may be a condition of his probation not to contact
or communicate with the victim until the court lifts the protective order.
Penal Code section 273.6 Any intentional and knowing violation of a protective order, as defined in Section 6218 of
the Family Code, or of an order issued pursuant to Section 527.6, 527.8, or 527.85 of the Code of Civil Procedure,
or Section 15657.03 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than
one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by both that fine
To find out about the laws regarding Self Defense Click Here.
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