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  • Domestic Violence Attorney in Orange County

    Being charged with domestic violence in Orange County is a nerve-wracking and intimidating experience. Domestic violence charges can have far-reaching implications extending to both your personal life and your professional life.

    California domestic violence laws make it a crime to intimidate, harm or threaten to harm a partner.

    The consequences of an Orange County domestic violence conviction can include:

    • Jail time or state prison
    • Probation or parole
    • Mandatory counseling
    • Loss of child custody
    • Deportation for non-citizens
    • Restraining order
    • Loss of gun rights
    • Fines or restitution
    • A permanent criminal record

    Many of these consequences will apply if the defendant is convicted of a misdemeanor or felony in California.

    Hire an Orange County Domestic Violence Attorney

    In California, domestic violence victims aren’t confined to spouses and domestic partners; they may also include:

    • a partner in any type of dating relationship
    • a former spouse
    • a fiance or fiancee
    • a person from whom you’re divorced or separated
    • a person you’re dating or used to date
    • a cohabitant (someone who lives or had lived with you for a long time)
    • a co-parent

    Two of the most common Orange County domestic violence charges will include California Penal Code 243(e)(1) “domestic battery” or Penal Code 273.5(a) “inflicting corporal injury on an intimate partner.”

    Penal Code 243(e)(1), domestic battery

    Penal Code 243(e)(1) is California’s domestic battery law and makes it a misdemeanor to inflict violence or force on an intimate partner. This law does not require a visible injury, unlike California Penal Code 273.5(a), and it is a commonly filed charge in relation to cases of domestic violence. It covers any type of offensive or harmful touching and does not require the victim to be injured.

    This charge is a misdemeanor with punishment that will include a fine of up to $2,000, up to 1 year in county jail, community service, protective orders, or required counseling/anger management classes. This conviction may lead to difficulties with finding employment in certain fields in the future in fields such as child care or caregiving, teaching as well and the loss of gun ownership rights in California.

    Because visible injury is not required for this charge, it is one in which false accusations are often made. In this circumstance, an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney can protect you from the legal repercussions and reputation damage that a false accusation can make.

    Penal Code 273.5(a), Inflicting corporal injury on an intimate partner

    California Penal Code Section 273.5(a) PC makes it illegal to injure a cohabitant, former cohabitant, spouse, former spouse, or fellow parent. This is often referred to as domestic violence, domestic abuse or corporal injury to a spouse.

    This is known as a “wobbler” offense which could be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or felony. The prosecutor will determine this depending on the level of force used or harm, the criminal history of the defendant and other factors.

    A felony conviction may result in up to four years in prison along with an additional five years if great bodily injury has been inflicted.

    Great bodily injury (referred to as GBI) is defined in California as “a substantial physical injury” or “a significant injury.” Examples include broken bones, concussions, gunshot wounds, or brain injuries, and the determination of whether or not a bodily injury is “great” is made on a case by case basis.

    California statute Penal Code 12022.7 PC provides a great bodily injury sentencing enhancement that can be applied in particular felony cases. This allows a judge or jury to add an additional prison term for a convicted felon if he/she inflicted great bodily injury on a victim during the commission of the related felony.

    This means that the defendant would serve an additional state prison term of three to six years as a consecutive term; the defendant must serve it immediately after finishing the term for the underlying felony. This penal code only applies in cases where great bodily injury is deemed to have occurred.

    After a conviction, a possible strike could be added to the defendant’s record which could be used to increase future convictions under California’s Three Strikes Law.

    Frequently, the defendant loses their ability to purchase firearms and may lose professional licenses along with being subject to a protective order and being required to participate in a mandatory counseling or other treatment program and fines.

    A conviction will also lead to serious immigration consequences for non-citizens such as deportation.

    Hire an attorney quickly if you are charged with domestic violence in Orange County

    If you’re accused of domestic violence and neglect getting prompt legal representation from an Orange County domestic violence attorney, you may suffer the consequences for years to come.

    I am an experienced domestic violence attorney based out of Newport Beach serving clients throughout all of Orange County; I counsel and represent both the accused as well as victims.

    If you are accused of domestic violence in Orange County, please review the information on this page, and you should call me at (949) 660-1389 as soon as you can.

    If you are a victim of domestic violence in Orange County and need legal assistance, please call me at (949) 660-1389 and also visit my page for victims of domestic violence.

    What happens when you are charged with domestic violence in Orange County

    Time is of the essence when you are charged with domestic violence in Orange County given that the arraignment will be within 5 days

    Here in California, the police will obtain an EPO (Emergency Protective Order) when someone is arrested for domestic violence. The EPO will be in place until the arraignment (typically 5 business days); it can be full (no contact) or peaceful contact.

    If it is a full EPO, you must leave your home until a court issues a new protective order and cannot have any contact with the victim including text, telephonic or email. You will only be allowed back in your home if the court issues a Peaceful Contact Order.

    The DA’s office always requests a protective order and many times asks for a full protective order over the victim’s objections.

    Many times, I immediately reach out to the DA with a mitigation package–this is essential as I am trying to avoid charges being filed.

    This is why it is essential that an Orange County domestic violence lawyer is hired as soon as possible after you are accused.

    Once charges are filed, you are dealing with the court process and it is a race against the clock to ensure that your legal consequences are minimized.

    Another important note: if there are children in the home, the EPO and subsequent PO can affect your ability to see your children, making it even more important to hire an attorney quickly.

    What does “domestic violence” include?

    When many people consider the term “domestic violence,” they may only think about physical abuse, but the term is actually much more encompassing.

    Defending oneself against claims that may rely solely on verbal testimony and not on any physical evidence can be extremely difficult.

    In many cases, a domestic violence charge can rely exclusively or almost exclusively on hearsay, especially in cases of verbal or emotional abuse.

    Unless you understand the steps you need to take to defend yourself right from the very beginning, it can be very difficult to overcome the charges and to prevail in court. That’s why a Newport Beach or Orange County domestic violence attorney can be an invaluable resource.

    What happens if I am arrested for domestic violence in Orange County?

    You will be arrested if you are accused of domestic violence in California. If you are accused of domestic violence in Orange County, don’t panic, don’t talk to the police at all, and politely request to speak to an attorney.

    Even if it seems like a simple conversation that couldn’t incriminate you, anything you say can and will be used against you in court. You always have the right to consult an Orange County domestic violence attorney before you say anything to the police.

    Later on, your Orange County domestic violence attorney will be able to speak to the prosecutor on your behalf, take measures to potentially avoid charges being filed, and present your side of the events.

    What happens if I get convicted of domestic violence?

    If you’re convicted of domestic violence in Newport Beach or any other city in Orange County, you could be facing stiff penalties, including domestic violence protective orders that can interfere with custody and visitation, mandatory participation in a 52-week batterer’s treatment program, significant fines and victim restitution payments, loss of gun rights, immigration issues including deportation, and jail time.

    And it doesn’t stop there: Once a domestic violence protective order or conviction is on your record, it can follow you for the rest of your life. These consequences are grave or serious regardless of whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.

    Even for a first offense, you could face stiff penalties. California law states that a charge for “corporal injury” could result in anywhere from one year in county jail to four years in state prison. Domestic battery carries a fine of up to $2,000 and potentially a year in county jail, and child abuse could be punished by one year in county jail or three years in state prison.

    Protect Your Rights and Hire an Orange County Domestic Violence Attorney

    Even the insinuation of domestic violence can have serious repercussions on every area of your life. Having an attorney who is skilled in defending clients accused of domestic violence is the key to ensuring your rights are fully protected. What’s more, you’ll gain an incredible peace of mind knowing an experienced Orange County domestic violence lawyer is in your corner.

    As a leading Orange County domestic violence lawyer, I have extensive experience helping clients make sure their voices are heard. When your case goes before a judge, you can feel confident you’ll have the best representation possible.

    When I get involved early in a case, I can often persuade the prosecutor to not file charges or negotiate a plea bargain that allows you to avoid the negative consequences of a domestic abuse conviction.

    If you’re facing domestic violence charges, don’t delay in getting the legal help you need. The sooner you begin working with an Orange County domestic violence attorney, the easier it will be to build a strong, defensible case.

    Call me today at 949-660-1389 to schedule a free consultation and learn how I can help you protect your rights, your reputation and your peace of mind.


    If you’re facing a DUI, domestic violence, theft, drug possession, assault or other serious criminal charge, finding the best Orange County criminal defense attorney to help you fight those charges and protect your rights is critical – in fact, your freedom may depend on it

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    Maltaise Cini

    Maltaise Cini has been defending clients against criminal charges for more than 20 years. As a former public defender, Ms. Cini understands the intricacies of the law and the significant hurdles her clients often face when defending themselves, and she also knows there is no definitive path toward the best possible defense. She works tirelessly for her clients, providing counsel and representation that benefit from her years as a public defender and successful Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Her skills and dedication have earned her multiple awards, including OC Metro’s “Top Criminal Attorney” in 2013 and 2014, the National Trial Lawyers Association “Top 100 Trial Attorneys” award in 2014 and 2015, and the Avvo Client Choice Award in 2015 and 2019.


    Orange County Criminal Attorney Serving Clients In:

    City of Aliso Viejo , City of Anaheim , City of Brea , City of Buena Park , City of Costa Mesa , City of Cypress , City of Dana Point , City of Fountain Valley, City of Fullerton , City of Garden Grove , City of Huntington Beach , City of Irvine , City of La Habra , City of La Palma , City of Laguna Beach , City of Laguna Hills, City of Laguna Niguel , City of Laguna Woods , City of Lake Forest , City of Los Alamitos , City of Mission Viejo , City of Newport Beach , City of Orange , City of Placentia , City of Rancho Santa Margarita , City of San Clemente , City of San Juan Capistrano , City of Santa Ana , City of Seal Beach , City of Stanton , City of Tustin , City of Villa Park , City of Westminster , City of Yorba Linda


    The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case.

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