While many people associate domestic violence with romantic relationships, California law defines these charges more broadly. Who in a person’s life can make accusations of domestic violence?
Can people you not in a romantic relationship with you make accusations?
Under California’s Penal Code 243(e)(1), domestic violence charges can involve a wide variety of people. While spouses, fiancés and other romantic partners can bring charges, these people are not the only ones that can accuse a person of domestic violence. Cohabitants with a significant relationship—whether they are closely related to the accused or are “more than just roommates”—can also accuse a person of domestic violence.
Can people you do not live with accuse you of domestic violence?
Accusations of domestic violence can occur even when two people do not share the same domestic space. Romantic partners that do not live with the accused, former romantic partners, former cohabitants and parents of a person’s child—regardless of their prior relationship or residence—can also accuse a person of domestic violence.
No matter who makes an accusation of domestic violence, it can have a significant impact on a person’s life, with penalties including up to $2000 in fines and up to a year in jail. Because of this, it can be valuable for people facing domestic violence charges to speak to an experienced defense attorney about their case. An attorney can examine their unique circumstances and create a defense that makes their voice heard.