Domestic violence is a serious charge to be facing in California, even for those with no prior criminal history. In almost all cases, if law enforcement is called to respond to a domestic violence incident, at least one of the parties will be arrested and taken to jail. In the past, law enforcement officers would cite or arrest individuals involved in domestic violence at their discretion. However, the guidelines for making arrests in domestic violence incidents have changed over time, requiring officers to take action when called out.
The California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training lays out very specific guidelines for how officers should handle domestic violence cases. Officers can make a misdemeanor or felony arrest of 1 or both parties involved in the situation.
A felony domestic violence arrest is made if police officers believe any felony has occurred with special consideration given to;
- A covered relationship existing between the parties; and
- Corporal Injury inflicted on a spouse, family member, or cohabitant resulting in a traumatic condition
A misdemeanor domestic violence arrest is made when there is probable cause for a police officer to believe any of the following.
- Responding to a call alleging a violation of domestic violence protective or restraining order, stalking emergency protective order, or elder abuse restraining order
- If a domestic violence protective or restraining order has been issued by the court of another state, tribe, or territory, and the peace officer has probable cause to believe that the restrained party committed an act in violation of the order, and had notice of the order and its conditions.
- There is reasonable cause to believe that an assault or battery has occurred
Someone arrested for domestic violence charges in California cannot be cited and released in almost all situations. Instead, police will book them into the county jail, formally charged, and required to stand before a judge for arraignment before having their bail amount set. The most common charge that someone in a domestic violence case will face is Domestic Battery, which under California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) can be punished by fines, protective orders, and up to 1 year in county jail. Bail is generally set at $5,000-$10,000 for these charges.
The arrestee will likely face felony charges like aggravated domestic battery if significant bodily injury has occurred or more than one person is injured. Under California Penal Code Section 273.5 PC, felony domestic violence convictions can be punished by up to 4 years in state prison and fines. Bail for felony domestic violence charges usually ranges from $10,000-$50,000 and up depending on the severity of the crime, criminal history, and risk to the victim. Every county in California has its own unique bail schedule, and you should consult with a bail bondsman to fully understand the potential bail amounts.
Does your loved one need a bail bond for domestic violence charges? Bail Agent Network can help you get in touch with a bail bond company that can have your loved one out of jail and back in your life as soon as possible.