Across the state of California, police officers respond to domestic violence calls hundreds of times a day. In some cases, they will respond to requests by a victim who is afraid for their own safety or the safety of someone else in their family. Other times, concerned neighbors might be the ones to contact state authorities.

If the police arrest someone because of a domestic violence call, that individual could very well wind up facing serious criminal charges. A domestic violence conviction could have implications including everything from your ability to return to the same house that you previously lived in to your right to own a firearm.

Fighting back against domestic violence charges often takes careful planning. Will the state pursue charges against you if the victim didn’t request prosecution and isn’t going to testify against you?

The victim doesn’t have to be a witness if their injuries are bad enough

Quite a few domestic violence cases go through the prosecution process in part because the victim wants justice or the safety that comes from having the perpetrator incarcerated. However, the alleged victim does not have to testify for the state to bring charges against a person suspected of domestic violence.

If law enforcement arrive to a situation where it was clear that one person had inflicted serious injury on the other, the testimony of those officers and the medical records affirming the injuries to the victim may be sufficient evidence for the state to bring charges.

Even if there isn’t a neighbor willing to say that they saw you hit the other person and even if the victim themself refuses to cooperate with prosecutors, the potential for not just charges but a conviction is very real.

Getting the right help early can sway the odds in your favor

Defending against criminal charges requires planning, knowledge of the law and an understanding of the circumstances that led to an arrest. The sooner you consult with someone experienced in defending against domestic violence charges in California, the better the chances you will have of creating a workable and successful defense strategy.