Domestic Violence

Practice Areas

Domestic Violence Lawyer Los Angeles 

Domestic violence occurs when someone physically or by the use of unlawful threats abuses the victim. Under California Penal Code, the victim and the abuser must have been in an intimate relationship. This means they have to be married or be domestic partners or be in a dating relationship or be cohabitants.


  1. When the abuser intentionally or recklessly causes physical harm to the victim. This could occur by pushing or unlawfully or violently grabbing the victim’s arm or any part of the body.
  2. When the defendant sexually touches the victim against his or her will and commits sexual assault.
  3. When the victim is being stalked. For instance, the defendant follows the victim anywhere he or she goes, or shows up uninvited when the victim has numerously expressed the desire to be left alone. Or when the defendant makes repeated phone calls to the victim and says that he will find the victim no matter where he or she goes.
  4. When the defendant makes threats to harm or kill the victim or the victim’s family and instills fear in the victim.


Domestic violence is a wobbler crime. That means it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case and the level of harm to the victim. Although an actual injury is not required for a DV case to be filed, if the victim has an actual physical injury, the prosecutor will look at the degree of the injury in deciding what level of charge is appropriate. Minor injuries, such as slight bruising or scratches are more likely to result in a misdemeanor domestic violence filing. Serious injuries such as broken bone, a major cut or bruise, injury that required medical attention or transportation of the alleged victim to a clinic or hospital, stitches, or shortness of breath due to choking are all candidates for felony DV filing.

Prosecutors will also consider the defendant’s prior criminal history and prior convictions for domestic abuse or violent crimes, and if so, how many prior convictions for violent crimes does the defendant have. Another factor in deciding whether the new crime should be charged as a felony or misdemeanor is whether the defendant is currently on felony probation.

Prosecutors will also consider the number of instances that an act of violence has been committed against the victim. Was this an isolated incident or many incidents happened during a short period of time?

If the defendant committed a combination of crimes, chances are the prosecutor will opt for a felony filing. For instance if the defendant was constantly stalking the victim and then continued to send threatening text messages and proceeded to show the victim a gun and was in possession of a gun when he and the victim got into a physical altercation, a felony filing is almost certain, even if there are no injuries to the victim.

Obviously, no one wishes to have a felony domestic violence. The sentence for a felony DV could be in the range of 2, 3 or 4 years in state prison. A misdemeanor DV on the other hand could be punished by a maximum of 12 months in county jail and with the help of an experienced DV attorney can often be resolved without any jail time.  

Although a large percentage of California DV cases fall into the category of misdemeanors pursuant to California Penal Code 273.5 or 243(e), Felony domestic violence cases are not uncommon. If you are facing a felony or misdemeanor DV, you need an experienced and aggressive Domestic Violence criminal attorney to help you defend the case in any court in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Van Nuys, Long Beach, Glendale, Burbank, and all other Los Angeles county, Orange county, Riverside county, and San Bernardino county courts.

Our office provides reasonable and affordable rates in felony and misdemeanor spousal abuse charges. If you have been arrested and accused of domestic violence, or if you have been falsely arrested because your partner, girlfriend, wife, or husband has made a false report to the police, you need an aggressive and experienced attorney to represent you in court and to get the case dropped.



Apart from a charge of domestic violence, prosecutors may add a charge for assault. If there is a major injury to the victim, they may add an enhancement for great bodily injury (GBI).

Aggravated assault

This crime could also be charged if there has been any strangulation, choking or cutting of the victim. Major signs of injury are usually seen when aggravated assault is charged.

Attempted Murder

The defendant could be charged with attempted murder if there is evidence of intent to kill. If the defendant obstructed the victim’s breathing or blood circulation by choking, attempted murder could be charged. Attempted murder is a likely charge if the choking caused the victim to lose consciousness for some time or if the victim suffered serious physical injury.

Violation of Protective Order

If you have been charged with domestic violence, you must be very careful in obeying the court’s Protective Order. You could make your situation worse by venting your anger at the victim in voicemails or text messages, which may result in an added charge of contempt or violation of protective order.


This is another crime often charged with domestic violence. If one damages another person’s property, even if the property was jointly owned by the defendant and the victim, vandalism may be filed on top of a DV charge.

Dissuading a Witness

Defendant could also be charged with obstruction of justice or dissuading a victim or witness from contacting the police if he or she prevents the victim from calling 911 or approaching the police for emergency assistance.


This occurs when a pattern of conduct is established over a short period of time whereby a person repeatedly contacts, follows, stalks or targets another person intending to instill fear in that person and intends to cause emotional or mental distress. If the stalking results in actual physical injury or if a weapon is used, one could be charged with felony stalking.

You must know that the decision to file criminal charges for domestic violence rests with the prosecutor once the police have submitted their file to the prosecutor. But there are ways to talk to the police to affect their decision to submit the case for filing. Even when the prosecutor receives the reports, your defense attorney may be able to contact the DA and arrange for an office hearing to resolve the matter before the case is filed. It is important to know that even if the victim does not wish to press charges or cooperate with the authorities, the city attorney or the district attorney may still prosecute a case based on the evidence they have, the witness statements, the documents gathered by responding officers, medical reports, or any other evidence.

Sometimes domestic violence charges could be resolved even before going to court. This could be done by arranging a city attorney hearing or a District Attorney office hearing. In this informal setting, the prosecutor will decide whether to file charges against you or not. The advice of a criminal attorney completely familiar with this process could make a world of difference in the outcome of the case. We have got many cases dismissed just using this method alone.


Defending a domestic violence case takes discipline, knowledge, aggressiveness, investigation, follow up, and dedication. We offer you all of the above and will stand by you until we get the desired result. This will need your cooperation. So, we will keep you in the picture and you will be well-informed of the progress of your case.

Cooperation by the alleged victim is a big plus in defending domestic violence cases. Therefore, it is always recommended that some type of reconciliation be done or at a minimum a peaceful resolution of the matter be proposed.

Obviously, extensive investigation and interviewing the alleged witnesses could make your defense stronger. Also, gathering documents in mitigation and presenting them to the prosecutor is always recommended.

There is no need to struggle to find the right attorney. We offer you the best legal representation at the most affordable rates with optional payment plans.

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Criminal prosecution can affect your health, freedom, employment, and social life. You need help and you need the best criminal defense you can get. At the Law Offices of Tony M. Seyfi, with the state of the art computerized legal research tools and forensic techniques, we will focus on identifying the defenses you may have and will develop numerous challenges to any crime possible.

Our goal is victory for our clients and to keep them from going to jail, and we are confident of our defense strategies. If you would like to discuss your case, call us today for a FREE CONSULTATION and case analysis.

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