Felony vs Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Explained

Felony vs Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Explained

by Jul 23, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge around the country, one of the most unfortunate side effects is the spike in domestic violence cases. The virus has created a perfect storm of conditions–massive unemployment, social unrest, increased alcohol consumption, and other high-stress problems–that are known to increase the risk of domestic violence cases.

If you have recently been accused of, or charged with, domestic violence, you need to speak with a lawyer right away. The severity of the charges, that is, whether you are being charged with felony vs misdemeanor domestic violence, will make a big difference in how your case needs to be handled.

Felony Domestic Violence

Felony domestic violence is a very serious offense and a conviction is very difficult to have expunged from your record, though this can be possible after a long period of time.

Felony charges are typically brough when the case involves any of the following:

  • Violence resulting in serious bodily harm or death
  • Violence or abuse inflicted on a minor or young child
  • Acts involving injuries caused by a deadly weapon (threats with a weapon may also result in felony charges)
  • Acts involving conduct of an inappropriate sexual nature

If convicted of felony domestic violence, you will serve up to 4 years in state prison. The sentence could be longer depending on the seriousness of injuries you inflicted. Additionally, you will have to undergo a mandatory domestic violence class.

If you have been convicted of other acts of domestic violence, sexual assault, assault with a weapon or attempted assault within the last seven years, you may receive a longer sentence of up to 5 years and fines up to $10,000.

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Misdemeanor Domestic Violence

A misdemeanor charge of domestic violence is a lesser offense than felony domestic violence and usually results in a correspondingly less severe punishment. Misdemeanors typically result in smaller fines and potentially jail (not prison) sentences of up to one year.

If you’ve been charged with domestic violence as a misdemeanor, it’s often the result of simple assault, battery, and/or verbal abuse. It is important to note that misdemeanor domestic violence can be elevated to a felony crime if it is a second or third conviction.

Using A Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

If you’ve been charged with domestic violence either as a felony or misdemeanor, you should immediately contact and retain an experienced domestic violence defense attorney. Any charge of domestic violence is a serious situation, and only a competent attorney should handle your case.

To get more information, or to speak with a domestic violence defense attorney as soon as possible, please call us today.


At Quinnan Law, we offer every client a free phone consultation to discuss their unique situation and determine how we can help. To arrange a consultation, please fill out the adjacent form or call us at: (707) 540-2356.

We provide representation in California State and Federal Courts. We accept most major credit cards for your convenience.

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