According to the World Health Organization, alcohol use and domestic violence are strongly linked. Some believe this is because alcohol can lead to fights with loved ones, or heavy drinking may follow a fight—along with a drive away from the situation.
If you experienced this, you might find yourself facing a DUI as well as domestic violence allegations. While they are separate charges, many people are convicted with both at the same time, which can result in serious and lifelong penalties. For such reasons, it is imperative that you contact our team at the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry. We know exactly how to build the defense needed to preserve your rights and freedom.
We also highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the potential penalties of each crime, as well as possible defenses. Below is an overview of DUI and domestic violence penalties, followed by strategies we may use to help you avoid them.
DUI Penalties in California
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense, and consequences may last for months or even years.
Whether or not this is your first offense, a DUI may result in:
- Jail time
- License suspension
The size of the fine, the length of time your license is suspended, and the length of time you spend on probation or in jail will depend on your record. All will increase in severity if you have multiple convictions.
Domestic Violence Penalties in California
California law defines domestic violence as abuse (or threats of abuse) occurring between people who are or have been in an intimate relationship (e.g. living together, having a child together, marriage, etc.) or are closely related by either blood or marriage. The abuse may include physical injury, psychological or verbal violence, sexual assault, harassment, stalking, or threatening.
Even before you are convicted, domestic violence allegations may result in a restraining order, which could prevent you from seeing your partner or even your children.
If you are convicted, you may receive any of the following penalties:
- Counseling services
- Up to a $6,000 fine
- Up to 4 years in prison
- Loss of custody rights
- Loss of your right to gun ownership
These penalties may increase if this is not your first domestic violence charge.
Reducing or Dismissing Your Charges
Although every case is unique, DUIs and domestic violence charges may have overlapping defense strategies. We may be able to prove, for example, that law enforcement committed an unlawful arrest procedure or otherwise violated your rights.
To defend you against a DUI charge, we may try to prove any of the following:
- Improper stop—the officer did not have a valid reason to pull you over
- Involuntary intoxication—you consumed alcohol unknowingly
- Mistake of fact—you had a valid reason for believing that the effects of the drugs or alcohol had worn off before you drove
- Necessity or duress—you were forced to drive under the influence, or you had to drive to avoid a “greater evil”
Defenses specific to domestic violence charges may involve proving that:
- You did not cause the defendant’s injuries
- You accidentally caused the defendant’s injuries
- You acted in self-defense during mutual combat
- The defendant made a false accusation
To properly implement any of these defenses, you will need support from a highly skilled and experienced attorney. Your time is limited, as both DUIs and domestic violence allegations can result in consequences even before your trial (such as restraining orders and suspended licenses).
To avoid drastic, potentially lifelong penalties, we urge you to get in touch with the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry right away. Call (949) 537-2202 or contact us online to begin building your defense as soon as possible.