There are many forms of crimes involving alleged physical violence upon another person, and many of these crimes may be charged as a misdemeanor (up to one year in the county jail) or a felony (state prison). Regardless, anyone arrested for such offenses should speak to an attorney right away in great detail about the events and circumstances that led to the arrest or citation. It is important to do so in order to evaluate the existence of mitigating or exonerating evidence before it may no longer be available or is forgotten. Mitigating evidence refers to evidence that may lessen the arrestee’s criminal culpability, such as when he/she reacts to the so-called victims’ provocation, harassment, bullying, or threats of harm. Exonerating evidence refers to evidence that establishes or intimates that the arrestee did not do what he/she is alleged to have done (ex: a neighbor says he saw the alleged “victim” throw the first punch without any provocation by the arrestee). Such evidence can prove to be exceptionally helpful for purposes of developing a comprehensive and meaningful defense strategy.
Given that many crimes of violence, especially those involving domestic violence, happen behind “closed doors” (where there are no independent or third-party witnesses to corroborate a defendant’s statement related to the details of the event!) it may be a daunting task for a defendant to prove his/her side of the story and be believed. Again, this is why it is important to speak to any attorney immediately about the details of what happened, so that even the “small details” are not forgotten or omitted from the discussion. It is surprising to many clients, how such details can matter so much, and in many cases, make the difference between him/her entering a guilty plea and the prosecutor dismissing the case.
While there are countless violence-related violations listed in the Penal Code, the following discussions include some of the more common offenses, as well as defenses available to fight or mitigate the charge. If you do not see the offense you are looking for listed below, feel free to contact attorney, Jeffrey D. Armendariz, for further information.