San Diego Domestic Violence Lawyer

Our Experienced San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney Holds the Prosecution to Its High Burden in All Types of Family Violence Cases

Domestic violence offenses are some of the most difficult criminal charges to deal with, as they often involve a level of emotion not found in other cases. Additionally, San Diego police, prosecutors, and judges all take any allegation of domestic violence incredibly seriously, and a conviction often carries a lengthy jail or prison sentence. At the same time, while the studies vary, an estimated 40 to 90 percent of alleged domestic violence victims recant, or take back, the allegations. The result is that if you’ve been charged with a San Diego DV crime, you need an attorney who has extensive experience defending against these allegations.

At the Law Office of Joshua R. Bourne, our San Diego domestic violence defense attorney has over 20 years of experience defending the rights of good people charged with serious crimes. Mr. Bourne understands that there is always more to a domestic violence case than what’s in the prosecutor’s file. And by conducting a diligent investigation and cross-examination of witnesses’ testimony, he is very often able to expose the deficiencies in the prosecution’s case.

How Does California Define Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence commonly refers to threats or acts of violence committed against current or former intimate partners. However, the definition of domestic violence varies by state. For example, some states include family members while others do not. Under California Penal Code § 13700, domestic violence is defined as any act of abuse inflicted upon a:

  • Current or former spouse,
  • Current or former romantic partner,
  • Person with whom you have a child, or
  • Current or former cohabitant.

In terms of what constitutes “abuse,” there are a few different definitions, including:

  • Intentionally causing bodily injury;
  • Recklessly causing bodily injury
  • Attempting to cause bodily injury;
  • Placing another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.

Types of Domestic Violence Offenses

California law provides for several different domestic violence offenses. Two of the most commonly charged domestic violence crimes in San Diego are inflicting corporal injury upon a spouse or cohabitant and domestic battery.

Corporal Injury Upon a Spouse or Cohabitant

Under Penal Code § 273.5, it is a crime to willfully inflict corporal injury against a current or former intimate partner that results in actual injury. Corporal injury upon a spouse or cohabitant is a wobbler offense, meaning it can be prosecuted as either a felony or a misdemeanor. If charged as a felony, causing corporal injury upon a spouse or cohabitant carries a sentence of 2, 3 or six years in jail as well as a fine of up to $6,000. If filed as a misdemeanor, the maximum punishment is one year in jail and a $6,000 fine.

Domestic Battery

Domestic battery is similar to inflicting corporal injury upon a spouse or cohabitant; however, there is no “actual injury” requirement. Thus, under Penal Code § 243(e)(1), prosecutors only need to prove that you committed a battery, which is defined as “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.” Domestic battery is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

Other commonly charged domestic violence offenses include the following:

  • Child Abuse (Penal Code § 273d)
  • Child Endangerment (Penal Code § 273a)
  • Child Neglect (Penal Code § 270)
  • Stalking (Penal Code § 646.9)
  • Criminal Threats (Penal Code § 422)
  • Cyberstalking (Penal Code § 653.2)

Regardless of the nature of the domestic violence charges you face, Mr. Bourne will stand up for your rights and ensure that the prosecution is held to the high burden demanded by the United States Constitution.

Are You Facing Domestic Violence Charges in San Diego?

If you’ve recently been arrested and charged with a DV crime, it’s important that you bring an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney onto your case as soon as possible. At the Law Office of Joshua R. Bourne, our clients routinely call upon us to represent them in all types of domestic violence cases, including those involving domestic battery and inflicting corporal injury upon a spouse or cohabitant. We command a deep understanding of the best DV defenses and how to use them to ensure that your case ends in the best result possible. To learn more about Mr. Bourne and what we can do to protect your interests, give the Law Office of Joshua R. Bourne a call at (619) 238-8242. You can also connect with us through our secure online contact form.

Client Reviews

This attorney was so responsive, honest and professional! I'm a 67 year old female with dementia, and was involved in an...

Susan B.

Joshua Bourne is an excellent lawyer! He has helped me twice and both times was able to get my case dismissed and stuck by...

Kent A.

Joshua was extremely helpful in representing my case. He knows the law and process very well. At all times he was very...


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