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Can I Face Domestic Abuse Charges If Things Never Got Physical?

 Posted on December 09, 2020 in Criminal Defense

Fremont criminal defense attorney domestic abuse

Abuse is something that no one should have to experience. It can leave lasting damage, physically, mentally, and emotionally. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, approximately 24 people per minute are victims of physical violence, rape, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States. That equates to more than 12 million men and women over a year’s time. The term “domestic abuse” sounds physical, but it actually encompasses a number of different actions or behaviors. In other words, if you have engaged in any of the following forms of abuse, you could face criminal charges related to domestic abuse.

Different Forms of Abuse

There are various forms of abuse that can lead to criminal charges, even if no physical altercations occurred. Before understanding which actions can lead to charges, one should know the different types of abuse, aside from physical abuse, to identify toxic behavior:

  1. Sexual Abuse - This form of abuse is often attributed to physical harm in a sexual manner, but there can be non-physical components. Aside from rape and forced sexual acts, this abuse can also include severe criticism or humiliation from a partner based on sexual performance. Tampering with birth control may also be considered sexual abuse.

  2. Verbal/Emotional Abuse - Verbal abuse involves the use of words and phrases to control a partner. This may include making threats. This type of abuse can be equally harmful as physical abuse even though no physical harm is done. 

  3. Psychological Abuse - This is similar to verbal abuse in that it often includes harmful words from one partner to another. Making a partner feel “crazy” is one of the common ways this form of abuse is done. It can undermine the individual’s sense of self and reality.

What Does California Law Say?

In California, there are four definitions of domestic violence, some of which do not require physical harm to occur at all. If you have done any of the following actions, you have subjected your partner to domestic violence:

  • You physically harmed someone or tried to intentionally or recklessly hurt him or her.

  • You sexually assaulted him or her.

  • You made someone reasonably afraid that you would seriously harm him or her.

  • You stalked, threatened, harassed, hit, destroyed the person’s belongings, or disturbed his or her peace.

Call a San Jose, CA Domestic Abuse Defense Lawyer

Because domestic abuse leaves long-lasting effects on the victims, the state of California takes all allegations seriously, even those that do not involve physical altercations. A domestic violence conviction can mean misdemeanor or felony charges on your criminal record depending on the situation. In order to avoid a future challenged by criminal charges, finding an experienced defense attorney is crucial. If you are facing domestic violence charges of any kind, contact a skilled Santa Clara County domestic violence defense attorney at the Fuller Law Office. Call us today at 408-234-7563 to schedule a free consultation.



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