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  • former deputy public defender

    As a former Deputy Public Defender in Riverside County, Mr. Donath has always been on the defense side of the law. 

  • award winning certified criminal law specialist

    Top 100 Trial Attorneys in California 2012-2014, 2008 Trial Attorney of the Year by the Riverside County Public Defender's Office, and dozens of other awards and accolades.

  • a true passion for defending the accused

    Your lawyer should have a passion for defense, not just a passion for money. Reputation, vigor, and determination go a long way in this business.

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Riverside Domestic Violence Attorney

Are you facing charges of domestic abuse or violence in Riverside, CA? These allegations can take a toll on your entire life, from your reputation in the community to your standing at work. Many law-abiding individuals find themselves facing charges of domestic violence and experience the effect it can take firsthand. While the law states that you’re innocent until proven guilty, it doesn’t always feel this way when you’re the one facing legal consequences.

Do You Need a Riverside Domestic Violence Attorney?

If you’re dealing with charges of domestic abuse, it is in your best interest to have a Riverside domestic violence lawyer by your side to help you through the process and fight to keep your freedom and rights. Contact the Law Offices of Graham D. Donath, APC in Riverside to schedule a strategic review of your legal options (951) 667-5293 or use our online contact form.

One of the most important aspects of your legal process will be hiring a Riverside domestic violence attorney to represent your rights at court. When you were arrested, you were informed of your rights, which include the right to a public defender. While public defenders are attorneys who are committed to the rights of their clients, they’re often overloaded with cases. Hiring a domestic violence lawyer that can give your case the attention it deserves is advisable if you can afford it.

Why Choose the Law Offices of Graham Donath?

Graham Donath only focuses on criminal defense and is one of a few attorneys recognized as a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Recently, Donath’s domestic abuse client was charged with Spousal Battery resulting in a traumatic condition. The alleged victim suffered serious swelling and bruising to the face. Donath’s client was found not guilty on all charges. 

  • Graham Donath has been named one of the Top 100 Trial Attorneys in Southern California by the National Trial Lawyers Organization
  • We have succeeded in hundreds of cases over the years.
  • We offer free case evaluations and free case consultations – call our Riverside office at (951) 667-5293 or fill out an online contact form.
  • You are innocent until proven guilty, and we will do everything in our power to protect your rights and make sure you get a fair trail.

Riverside Domestic Violence Lawyer

The legal consequences of a domestic violence charge will depend on the nature of the charge and whether it’s a misdemeanor or felony. Both domestic abuse and domestic battery may be misdemeanors under California law.

  • Domestic battery: Includes a fine up to $2,000 and a sentence in county jail up to one year.
  • Domestic abuse: If charged as a misdemeanor, it carries a potential penalty of up to $6,000 in fines and up to a year in county jail.

If charged as a felony, the penalties become more severe. These convictions carry a maximum sentence of two to four years in a California state prison. If you have been wrongfully accused of domestic violence, contact Graham Donath he is one of the top Riverside domestic violence lawyers in the Inland empire. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation (951) 667-5293 .

Type of Domestic Violence Charges

There are various charges In California that could be considered “domestic violence” crimes. This includes charges related to abuse, battery, neglect, and threats. In some cases, these charges are misdemeanor offenses, while others are felonies. However, most of the offenses that are listed below will be considered “wobbler” offenses. When a charge is classified as a wobbler, this means that it can be brought against a person as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on:

  • The circumstances of the offense
  • The seriousness of any alleged injuries
  • The past criminal history of the defendant

Here, we provide a list of some of the most common charges that can also be considered domestic violence (these crimes are referenced by the penal code assigned to them in California’s criminal statutes.

  • 1. Penal Code 273.5, corporal injury to a spouse or inhabitant
  • 2. Penal Code 243(e)(1), domestic battery
  • 3. Penal Code 273d, child abuse
  • 4. Penal Code 273a, child endangerment
  • 5. Penal Code 270, child neglect/failure to provide care
  • 6. Penal Code 368, elder abuse
  • 7. Penal Code 422, criminal threats
  • 8. Penal Code 646.9, stalking
  • 9. Penal Code 591, damaging a telephone line
  • 10. Penal Code 601, aggravated trespass
  • 11. Penal Code 647(j)(4), revenge porn
  • 12. Penal Code 653.2, posting harmful information on the internet

What Happens If I’m Arrested For Domestic Violence in California?

After an arrest, police are within their rights to question you. It’s best to use your right to remain silent at this time. During the course of your arrest, you’ll be booked and processed. The police will take your picture, fingerprint you, and then hold you in custody until a judge can schedule your arraignment.

How does bail work for domestic violence charges?

Bail for domestic abuse and violence cases are usually high – around $50,000. However, your Riverside domestic violence attorney may be able to negotiate to a fraction of this by convincing a judge that you’ll make it to all your court appearances. Alternatively, a judge may decide to release on you on your “own recognizance,” which means you won’t be required to post bail.

What’s an arraignment?

Shortly after being arrested, you’ll attend your first hearing, which is called the arraignment. During this hearing, the judge will read the charges against you and you’ll enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. The judge may also set pretrial conditions and future court dates. It’s essential to have a defense attorney’s guidance while entering a plea and preparing for the trial ahead.

What if I go to Trial?

If you entered a guilty plea or no-contest plea, a judge may provide sentencing at the arraignment. However, if you enter a not guilty plea, your case goes to trial. It’s essential to follow your attorney’s instructions during the pretrial and trial period.

The Law Offices of Graham D. Donath can help you with this process. We offer free consultations. We will protect your rights and fight for a fair result. Contact our Riverside office at (951) 667-5293 or use our online contact form.

Probation in Domestic Violence Cases

There are various consequences associated with domestic violence convictions. One of the consequences of being convicted of domestic violence in California is possible probation. In some cases, probation is given as an alternative to a person serving time in jail for their offense. Probation can also be given in addition to jail time for many criminal cases. Probation is a way that the courts ensure that you pay your debt to society while also giving a person a chance to re-establish their lives in the aftermath of a conviction.

There are two types of probation in the state of California – summary probation (informal probation) and formal probation. In general, a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction will result in a summary probation requirement, while felony domestic violence convictions will result in formal probation requirements.

Typically, probation lasts anywhere from three to five years and is considered a conditional release program. It is considered to be conditional because the release is contingent on the convicted individual following the probation terms, or they risk serving the rest of their sentence in jail or prison.

A sentence of probation will usually involve several requirements that the convicted person must adhere to. For a domestic violence conviction, some of the requirements may be specific to this type of offense. This can include a requirement for a person to attend a year-long batterers’ intervention program. These classes typically meet once a week for a few hours at a time. The program also involves education, counseling, and group work.

A person who is given probation may also be ordered to perform community service, attend anger management classes, or participate in substance abuse classes and counseling. Those on probation are also required to pay any fines and victim restitution fees that they owe.

Those on probation will also have significant restrictions on their actions. This can include the ownership or possession of a firearm, restrictions on where the convicted person may travel, whether or not a person is able to consume alcohol, and more.

Defenses for Domestic Violence Charges

If you’re facing domestic abuse charges, it’s time to act and mount your defense. A riverside domestic violence attorney can help you gather the following to build a strong defense in court.

Gathering Evidence

Your defense hinges on providing enough evidence that casts reasonable doubt on the charges against you. Examples of gathering evidence might include:

  • Taking pictures of your hands if you’re accused of hitting someone. A lack of bruising or swelling could show that you didn’t strike.
  • Evidence that reduces your accuser’s credibility, such as a state of intoxication during the incident. Gathering text messages and videos is also a good step.

Keep in mind, if you’re arrested you might have a no-contact order with the accuser. These no-contact orders can be filed with a restraining order attorney.  Be sure to follow these terms closely. Do not approach your accuser under any circumstance.

Talking to Witnesses

If it’s possible, get witnesses to attest to the incident as evidence. If someone saw a fight occur, can they say that the accused was not actually a victim of violence or threats? If so, take down their contact information and consider having them write a witness statement outlining their observations. Your Riverside defense attorney can provide you with further guidance.

Can Domestic Violence Charges Be Dropped?

Sometimes, an accuser may decide to withdraw their charges, but this action doesn’t necessarily lead to dismissal. Even if an accuser wishes to drop charges, the decision whether to proceed with the case is at the discretion of the prosecution.

A district attorney’s office or another prosecutor can still bring charges, even if the accuser is being uncooperative with the investigation. Since this action is not entirely uncommon in domestic abuse cases (as they, by definition, involve loved ones), prosecutors often decide to proceed with charges.

This highlights the need for anyone facing domestic abuse and violence charges to seek a Riverside attorney versed in domestic disputes and violence immediately. We can help you understand your rights and start your legal proceeding out on the best foot possible.

What is a deferred sentence?

Your lawyer may ask for a deferred sentence, in which case, you can enter a guilty plea and waive your right to trial, and your sentence will be deferred as long as you adhere to certain conditions. For example, you may agree to complete a domestic violence program and promise not to commit further offenses. Once you’ve fulfilled the terms of the agreement, charges will be dismissed.

How Much Does a Domestic Violence Lawyer Cost?

When considering hiring a lawyer for a domestic dispute, cost can be an important consideration. After all, while pursuing your safety is important, finances may make some attorneys fall out of reach of your budget. However, there is often a variety of rates for domestic violence defense lawyers, as the specific details of your case will influence the time and resources necessary. When determining the potential cost of your case, you will likely encounter two main costs: legal fees and trial costs. At the Law Offices of Graham D. Donath, your initial consultation is free of cost. Call our Riverside office (951) 667-5293 or use our online contact form.

Questions to Expect From a Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer

Our Riverside domestic violence defense attorneys will start mounting your defense by asking several questions:

  • Did the accuser fabricate the assault? False accusations occur more often that you might think. If the alleged victim is making up the abuse to gain leverage in a custody or divorce battle, this could form part of your defense. Keep in mind that emotional and psychological abuse are generally harder to prove than physical abuse.
  • Did you do it, or is there someone else in your household that could be responsible? If you have any documentation that could attest to this fact, remember to bring it with you.
  • Do you have any questions? It’s essential that you understand your rights and the legal process that follows an arrest for a domestic dispute. We want to help you, which includes being informed at every step. If you do have any questions, make sure you ask us, so we can properly represent you.

Contact a Riverside Domestic Defense Violence Lawyer

Domestic violence charges can be serious, and they rarely go away. If you’re facing misdemeanor or felony charges involving domestic abuse or spousal or partner battery, it’s essential to hire a Riverside domestic violence defense attorney as soon as possible. Graham Donath specializes in criminal defense law and serves clients in Orange County and the Inland Empire. He has successfully defended clients in both misdemeanor and felony trials and is committed to defending your rights under California law. For more information about our Riverside criminal defense lawyer, please contact us.

Client Review:

“I got arrested after I was accused of domestic violence. I was referred to Mr. Donath by some attorney in court on my first court date and called him. Boy am I glad I did. A few months later and all criminal charges dismissed and all I had to do was pay a fine. I can’t say enough about what a great and trustworthy lawyer he was.”

– Jeff W.