Arguments happen in most relationships, and people often say or do things during those arguments that they later regret. However, even if the argument never became a physical altercation, you may find yourself facing domestic violence charges—and significant penalties—as a result of that dispute. Can someone close to you really accuse you of domestic violence if you did not touch them?
What non-physical actions can lead to domestic violence charges?
Under California law, domestic violence charges do not necessarily involve physical force. California Penal Code 13700 (a) notes that abuse includes “placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to himself or herself, or another.”
Because this definition is fairly broad, accusations of domestic violence in California can take many different forms. These include:
- Making threats
- Damaging or destroying someone’s personal property
As a result, a person could face domestic violence charges for a variety of different actions taken in the heat of the moment. Damaging household items or saying things during an argument that their partner viewed as a threat could put their freedom at risk.
How can you defend against these accusations?
Domestic violence charges can be an intimidating experience, but it is possible to protect your future. Because “a reasonable apprehension” can be subject to interpretation, making your voice heard is often a key part of defending against domestic violence charges. An experienced attorney can help you build a strong defense that makes your side of the story heard and protects you from potentially life-changing penalties.