During a fight, it can be easy to say hurtful things. A person may throw insults, dig into sensitive subjects or say things that they don’t really mean. When, though, are harsh words enough to lead to a domestic violence charge?
Domestic violence charges require more than heated words.
Heated arguments can lead someone to speak harshly to the other person involved, but not all of these unkind statements said in the heat of the moment can lead to a domestic violence conviction. While the broad definition of domestic violence under California law can include verbal abuse, an accusation must meet specific criteria to qualify.
In order for the courts to consider your words to be domestic violence under California Penal Code 13700, the statements made must make the other person reasonably fear for their safety. Verbally threatening harm, as a result, can lead to a domestic violence charge. In addition, the perceived threat to that person’s safety must be imminent.
Defending against accusations of verbal abuse is possible.
If someone accuses you of threatening their safety and you face domestic violence charges as a result, you may feel overwhelmed. These cases may involve two conflicting reports of an argument and very little evidence, leaving people to wonder how they can make their side of the story heard.
Thankfully, it is possible to defend yourself against a criminal charge like domestic violence. An experienced attorney can help highlight the lack of support for the accusations against you and protect your freedom in the process.