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Orange County Bar Association

Orange County Domestic Violence Lawyer

Penal Code Sections 273.5(a) and 243(e)(1)

Domestic Violence occurs when one person physically strikes another person without consent and the two people are married, in a dating relationship or otherwise romantically involved. This crime can be charged as a Misdemeanor or a Felony. If charged as a Misdemeanor the maximum jail time possible is one-year. If charged as a Felony the maximum jail time could be four-years.

The degree of injury to the victim will decide if a case is charged as a Misdemeanor or a Felony. Cases involving scratches, cuts, abrasions and black eyes are usually deemed Misdemeanor offenses. Cases involving broken bones, lacerations that require stitches or near-death experiences like cutting off a person’s air for a prolonged time, can be filed as Felonies.  Orange County Domestic Violence lawyer Will Bruzzo has successfully represented many clients accused of Domestic Violence for over 30 years.

Domestic Violence Cases are among the most Difficult for the Prosecutor to Prove.

The reason these cases are hard to prosecute is because it is often one person’s word against the other. Also, sometimes there is conflicting evidence where both sides have injuries. The difficulty in proving these cases allows more leeway for negotiating a disposition. In addition, as in all criminal cases the victim has a voice. If the victim does not want to pursue the case or wants a result that favors education versus punishment or jail, then the prosecutor must consider those desires.  Ultimately, if the prosecution insists on a conviction and/or jail over the desires of the victim, then the matter may go to trial. Domestic Violence cases fall into the rare category of criminal case where the victims may not be jailed for refusing to testify, although they can be fined.  (See CCP § 1219).  A victim who declines to testify may result in the case being dismissed if the victim’s testimony is necessary to prove the case.

The California Penal Code requires that every person convicted of Penal Code Sections 273.5(a) or 243(e)(1) attend a 52-week batterers’ class, complete 8 hours of community service, make a “donation” to a battered woman’s shelter and pay other fines and fees. There is also a 10-year ban on possessing a weapon in California and a lifetime federal ban on possessing a weapon after a domestic violence conviction, Misdemeanor or Felony.

Orange County Domestic Violence Lawyer Will Bruzzo has negotiated many dispositions that resulted in dismissals without convictions or pleas. On occasion he has offered that the client completes a 12-week Anger Management class in exchange for dismissal. There is also a 6-hour Domestic Violence Class offered through Pacific Education Services (PES) which the District Attorney is familiar with, which the client may attend in lieu of a conviction. Additionally, Mr. Bruzzo has negotiated a dismissal after the client attends the 52-week Batterer’s class as a “volunteer”, without a guilty plea.

Orange County Domestic Violence Lawyer Will Bruzzo will Often Contact the Prosecutor’s Office Prior to the Court Date to Influence the Process

The Police Investigation may be lacking critical evidence when it is submitted to the District Attorney who will decide whether the incident becomes a formal charge. Orange County Domestic Violence Lawyer Will Bruzzo has submitted evidence numerous times to the Prosecutor prior to the court date with the goal of causing the Prosecutor NOT TO FILE the case. There have been many, many occasions where the Prosecutor has declined to file Domestic Violence charges after Mr. Bruzzo submitted additional evidence, like statements from the alleged victim.

The District Attorney and the Police Face a lot of Political Pressure in Domestic Violence Cases

Domestic Violence convictions are obviously very ugly charges. They are also “political” charges in that the District Attorney takes them seriously because of the special nature of the victim and the focus brought to bear on these cases by the media and the community. As a result of the high percentage of women who die at the hands of husbands, boyfriends and romantic acquaintances, the District Attorney and Police are concerned about not doing enough to protect the victim-spouse, and then being blamed if she is injured or killed by the same person at a later time. As a result, the Police will often arrest suspects for domestic violence on very flimsy evidence. And on occasion, the Prosecution will charge Domestic Violence for cases where the evidence is very poor.

Call Orange County Domestic Violence Lawyer Will Bruzzo now for a free consultation on your Domestic Violence case at (714) 547 4636.

Client Reviews

“I was pulled over for not having license plates on my car. The reason for that was because it was new. When the Officer pulled me over, he claims to have smelled marijuana and he began to ask me questions. I admitted to smoking marijuana earlier in the...


“I was arrested and charged with Penal Code Section 273.5(a) [Domestic Violence with Traumatic Injury]. Unfortunately, some of my actions were caught on video. In addition, an infant was present during the incident. My family hired Attorney Will Bruzzo to...


“I was charged with two counts of Vehicle Code 23109.1 [Engaging in a Speed Contest Causing Specified Injury] as a felony; two counts of Vehicle Code 23105(a) [Reckless Driving Causing Specified Injury], one count of Penal Code Section 368(b)(1) [Elder and...


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