Facing an arrest can be a terrifying prospect. You are humiliated, your reputation is in tatters, and you have no idea what your punishment will be if you are convicted. An arrest for domestic violence, however, is even worse. Abusing your partner is something that society has very little tolerance for, and you may face ostracization whether or not you are actually guilty. With so much at stake, you may be wondering how to avoid jail time altogether and instead work on improving your reputation and social standing. But do the courts even offer probation to those convicted of such a serious crime like domestic violence?
Probation and Eligibility
Probation in lieu of a prison sentence for a person convicted of domestic violence is possible in the state of California. However, receiving probation isn’t as easy as just asking for it. The court will do an entire investigation to ensure that you are eligible for probation, as they don’t want to risk putting the alleged victims back in harm’s way.
First, there will be a risk assessment. This will involve looking into your background to see if you have been previously convicted of similar or related crimes. They will do their best to determine how likely you are to be violent in the future and whether or not you will attack the alleged victims. A history of violent behavior will likely make you ineligible for probation.
After the initial investigation, a call will be made to the Victim Advocate in the District Attorney’s office to get their opinion on the matter and hear the perspective of the alleged victims. Of course, the Victim Advocate and the alleged victims will likely fight for you to receive a prison sentence rather than probation, as they are the ones who most likely brought the charges against you in the first place. You shouldn’t fear, however, as their opinion is not the be-all-end-all for the court.
After that point, if the court feels you are unlikely to offend again, and you are officially convicted of domestic violence, you will be granted probation. You will be required to check-in with the court to make sure you are progressing properly and not becoming a repeat offender. However, you will be able to live far more freely than being stuck in prison.
There are factors that could limit your ability to be granted probation. For example, if you have been convicted of domestic violence or similar violent charges in the past, the court may decide that you are too dangerous and must be given a prison sentence. That is, of course, if you are convicted.
Another factor to consider is whether your charges are for misdemeanor domestic violence or for felony domestic violence. If you are charged with a felony, it is very likely you will be not given probation.
Felony Charges and Probation
You may be wondering, “Why is my domestic violence charge a felony?”
Typically, a domestic violence charge will be made into a felony if the harm done to the alleged victim is severe or life-threatening. Pushing your partner angrily may result in a domestic violence charge, but the harm done from a single shove will not be nearly enough for it to be considered a felony.
A felony charge of domestic violence is incredibly serious and it almost immediately eliminates the possibility of probation. That is because the court will consider you a danger to society, as well as a danger to your alleged victims. There is far more incentive to place a convicted felon in jail than there is for someone charged with a misdemeanor.
What you may not realize, however, is that you could be facing jail time before your trial even begins. After your arrest, you will be given a bail hearing. During the hearing, a judge will determine how much bail you need to pay before you are allowed to leave. If you choose to not pay that bail, you won’t be able to go home. Preparing for a trial is incredibly difficult when you are stuck behind bars. That is why, after your bail is set, you should immediately call an experienced bail agent from Balboa Bail Bonds. We have dedicated our lives to helping those who have been arrested get back to the comfort of their own home and we’re ready and willing to help you too! If you or a loved one have been convicted of domestic violence, call us at (619) 760-2222. We provide bonds for clients in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange County.