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Fresno Battery Domestic Violence Attorney

Charged with a violation of PC 243? What is the punishment for a violation of PC 243?  Call Fresno Criminal Defense Lawyer Jonathan Rooker for help with your case:

Pen Code Section 243. Battery --243(a) A battery is punishable by a fine not exceeding ($2,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

PC 243(e)(1) When a battery is committed against a spouse, a person with whom the defendant is cohabiting, a person who is the parent of the defendant's child, former spouse, fiance', or fiancee or person with whom the defendant currently has or has previously had, a dating or engagement relationship. the battery is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000)., or by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment.  If probation is granted, or the execution of imposition of the sentence is suspended, it shall be a condition thereof that the defendant participate in , for no less than one year, and successfully complete, a batterer's treatment program, as described in Section 1203.097, or if none is available, another appropriate counseling program designated by the court.  However,, this provision shall not be so construed as requiring a city, a county, or a city and county to provide a new program or higher level of service as contemplated by Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

PC 243(e)(2) Upon conviction of a violation of this subdivision, if probation is granted, the conditions of probation may include, in lieu of a fine, one or both of the following requirements;

PC 243(e)(2)(A) That the defendant make payments to a battered women's shelter, up to a maximum of five thousand dollars ($5,000).

PC 243(e)(2)(B) That the defendant reimburse the victim for reasonable costs of counseling and other reasonable expenses that the court finds are the direct result of the defendant's offense. For any order to pay a fine, make payments to a battered women's shelter, or pay restitution as a condition of probation under the is subdivision, the court shall make a determination of the defendant's ability to pay.  In no event shall any order to make payments to a  battered women's shelter be made if it would impair the ability of the defendant to pay direct restitution to the victim or court-ordered child support.  If the injury to a married persons caused in whole or in part by the criminal acts of his or her spouse in violation of this section, the community property shall not be used to discharge the liability of the offending spouse, required by Section 1203.04, as operative on or before August 2, 1995, or Section 1202.4, or to a shelter for costs with regard to the injured spouse and dependents, required by this section, until all separate property of the offending spouse is exhausted.

FIREARMS RESTRICTION: Be aware that a conviction under PC 243(e) Domestic Violence will result in a lifetime firearm prohibition.  California Law requires a 10-Year Prohibition because PC 243 is considered a violent misdemeanor.  However, under the Lautenberg amendment to the Gun Control Act of 1968, A person convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence will be prohibited from owning an/or possessing firearms for the duration of their lifetime.  The courts commonly miss advise defendants as to the duration of the firearm restriction or prohibition, which can result in prosecution of individuals who wrongly, but understandably believed their prohibition period had ended.

Common Questions:

My wife isn't going to testify against me in court, do I still need a lawyer?

My husband isn't going to testify against me, should I still hire an attorney?

My Girlfriend will admit she lied to the police, do I still need a lawyer?

My boyfriend doesn't want to press charges, will the District Attorney dismiss charges or still prosecute me?

My wife told the DA to drop the charges, why are they prosecuting me?

For answers to common questions regarding Domestic Violence, schedule a free consultation appointment with Jonathan Rooker to help you decide if you need an Attorney to help you with your case.

Famous Cases of Domestic Violence and their effect on the Criminal Justice System:

Nicole Brown Simpson: The most famous domestic violence case of the modern era is the O.J. Simpson domestic violence upon Nicole Brown Simpson.  This case changed the face of Domestic Violence in the United States.  Judges, Prosecutors, and the general public began viewing domestic violence allegations as a gateway that may lead to the murder of the victimized spouse.  Sentences have been harsher, classes, counseling, and restraining orders have become much more routine for even the most harmless of alleged incidents.  The way the justice system views Domestic Violence has changed for ever.

Actress Diane Lane: After calling the police claiming physical abuse by her husband, she recanted.  She told the police that their was a misunderstanding, and the abuse never occurred.  This is typical of domestic violence.  This kind of recantation occurs in many DV cases.  Criminal Defense attorneys have to overcome the presumption that the event actually occurred, and any recantation of the claim made by the victim to the police is not just a lover trying to help their spouse or significant other.  Its odd that prosecutors pick and choose when they believe a person, who clearly lied with one story or its contradiction, is actually telling the truth or lying.

Former President Bill Clinton: While better known for denials of certain acts with Monica Lewinsky, is also a victim of domestic violence.  Not by his wife, but by having lived with an abusive step father while growing up.  He was able to overcome the childhood trauma and become one of the most powerful men in the world.  This is a testament that victims can overcome their victimization and move forward with great success.  This can be used to show victims, who sometimes need representation themselves, that being a victim doesn't prevent them from achieving.

Halle Berry: Long regarded as one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood, Actress Halle Berry suffered a permanent injury as the result of a beating from one of her boyfriends. The beating resulted in the loss of hearing on one of her ears.  She was raised in a home with domestic violence, and abuse witnessed as a child became a reality in her own relationships as an adult.  Breaking these patters is of the utmost importance for the long term health of society.

Madonna:  A person so famous a single name identifies them to the public.  At the peak of what has become one of the most successful music careers ever, she was involved in a whirlwind romance with a man she still describes as the love of her life.  Sean Penn was convicted of Domestic Violence, and a divorce occurs shortly thereafter. Once again showing that success, of either the spouse, victim or victimizer, doesn't preclude domestic violence from occurring.  The material girl was the victim in a physical world of Domestic Violence, likely contributing greatly to the end of the relationship.

Mariah Carey:  Another incredibly successful musician, and stunning beauty who has admitted to be a victim of domestic violence.  However, she told that emotional and mental abuse by her now ex-husband, also a successful producer, had made her feel trapped.  This case sheds light on a type of abuse that is less likely to become a court case or result in criminal charges, but people should be aware of.  A pattern of beating a person down mentally can have severe effects.  However, victim and victimizer isn't always as clear cut as an accusation can make it out to be.

Rhianna:  Another person so famous only a single name is needed to let the world know who we are talking about.  Also a petite stunning beauty who has highlighted music award shows in revealing and provocative outfits, who was savagely beaten by a boyfriend, who was also a mega-star in the music world.  Each time a celebrity is harmed by domestic violence, the awareness of the problem grows, however, sometimes this results in a reaction in the court system where bruised or battered pictures of a helpless or beaten celebrity influences cases with dramatically different facts.  As a criminal defense attorney, this is a concern that we must be aware of.

Whitney Houston or Bobby Brown? This is a curious story with a horribly sad ending.  As we know, Whitney has passed away.  She had made allegations that Brown had beaten her, but later recanted, and said she was the one who does the hitting.  Was Witness a DV Victim?  Was Bobby Brown the real victim?  This is a circumstance that occurs more often than people realize.  A male being, usually, more physically able to win the physical encounter with a female, may actually be the victim who was defending himself.  However, when the police arrive, and see marks, blood, bruises, or worse on the female, and she is crying and accusing the unharmed man of beating her, too often the man, or winner of the fight, is arrested and prosecuted.  It is hard to know what actually too place.  It becomes even more complicated when the female, or loser of the fight, recants.  Now, how do we determine who really started the incident?  Is she recanting because she is now telling the truth, or because she doesn't want Brown in trouble?  Even worse, could one be forcing the other one to recant?  It is hard to know for sure, and many times harder to prove.

Pamela Anderson: Playboy model, Baywatch beauty, and dream girl of the 90's.  Also a victim of domestic violence.  Her husband, rock star Tommy Lee was convicted of committing a Domestic Violence act upon her, and it was alleged he kicked the sex icon while she was holding their young child.  With legion of young men standing in line just to meet her, she ends up with a husband who abused her.  Tommy Lee ended up serving jail time for DV upon Pamela.  While many victims get deep sympathy from the public, Miss Anderson's DV case was more of tabloid news, greeted with snickers.  Because of her sex symbol status, nude magazine pictures, and sex tape, among other reasons, she was viewed as a more deserving victim by the press and public.  It seemed at the time that the public had a "so what" attitude toward her very real victimization.  Similar issues have been used as mitigating factors in many court rooms.  The victim was drunk, cheating, on drugs, criminal records, victim is of poor moral character, and many other factors come into play.  Sometimes they help avoid conviction, other times they may help as sentencing factors, but there is no guarantee that they help at all.  Prosecutors will try to humanize the victim, even when they character flaws, or less than moral behavior histories.

Paul Hartmann murder suicide by his wife Brynn Hartmann:  This tail of murder was after the OJ Simpson incident, but never gained the press of the OJ Simpson.  This DV incident was actually a murder of a helpless, sleeping victim.  However, it was a Female on Male incident, one of the few involving a firearm and multiple shots.  His wife of 11 years, Brynn Hartmann, shot him while he was sleeping.  He was shot in the head, neck, and arm.  She confessed to a friend, then took her own life.  A murder suicide.  The incident occurred after the Saturday Night Live actor had been our drinking with friends and returned home late.  Much like the the previous case, it was reported that the victim had been drinking, and trace amounts of cocaine where found in his system.  Does this justify the killing?  Probably not, but it did show immoral behavior, and may have reduced the sentence had there been a court case.

Tina and Ike Turner:  A 16 year abusive relationship ended with a battered woman coming out on top.  An inspirational story, shown in the major motion picture "What's love got to do with it" her autobiography.  While this blog is heavily populated with actors and musicians, it is only because they are famous and to show that it can happen to anyone.  Interestingly, many times with DV, love, however perverted, has everything to do with it.  They fear losing  a person, trying to control another person, or the bad reaction to the heartbreak, real or perceived, that comes with a relationship with another human being.  Tina Turner's autobiography was another major turning point in DV awareness.  What we must keep in mind, Tina's story is unique, and individual, and should not be used to convict or punish another person other than Ike Turner.  When major stars are involved, the whole world takes notice, and sometimes the public reaction is actually an over reaction to another event, another person's life. Courts and jurors must separate each incident, and not punish a person to exact revenge for another or themselves.

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