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Domestic Violence

Even the slightest or smallest touch that occurs during an argument constitutes domestic violence in California. The most common penalties imposed for a domestic violence conviction are pretty serious and typically include year-long classes, jail, community service, large fines, restraining orders, job loss, licensing revocation, deportation, and child custody & visitation issues.

Commonly Charged Domestic Violence Offenses
  • Annoying, Harassing, or Threatening Phone Calls
  • Child Abuse
  • Child Endangerment
  • Death or Bodily Injury Against a Spouse
  • False Imprisonment by Violence
  • Infliction of Corporal Injury or Significant Pain
  • Spousal Abuse
  • Violent Criminal Threats (also see violent crimes)

If you have been charged or accused of a domestic violence offense, it is imperative that you retain an aggressive and experienced criminal defense attorney. Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Staycie R. Sena has handled thousands of domestic violence cases in Orange County. Ms. Sena’s goal while handling domestic violence cases is to minimize the consequences of an arrest and to keep families together.

Frequently Asked Questions about Domestic Violence
Will the Case Go Away if My Partner Drops the Charges?

No. Many people mistakenly believe that individuals have the power to “press charges.” If any statements or allegations are made to the police, then the District Attorney has the discretion to file criminal charges or not. In most cases, partners do not want to pursue criminal charges but charges are filed regardless of their wishes. An alleged domestic violence victim should NOT try to contact the District Attorney’s office even if he or she honestly believes that it is good for your case. Anything an alleged victim says to the District Attorney’s Office can potentially be used against you. You should contact Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Staycie R. Sena for advice.

I am the Victim and I Did Not Want a Restraining Order but One Was Issued Anyway, Do I Have Any Recourse?

The law has recently been changed to greatly diminish the power of a court to issue/grant a restraining order if the victim objects. However, some courts do not know about the recent change in the law. If you are the victim and a restraining order was issued even though you did not request one, call Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Staycie R. Sena for help.

What Are My Chances of Going to Jail?

Domestic violence cases without serious injury are usually resolved without imposing a jail sentence.

What Should I Do if I (or a Loved One) is Arrested for a Domestic Violence Offense?

A: Before you do anything, make sure to safeguard any evidence. Photograph any injuries that you or the victim suffered and/or any damage that was done to property. You should not depend on the police to take photos of the injuries and/or property damage because the photos they take are often unfocused or not even produced. REMEMBER to always remain silent. Both the Federal and California Constitutions guarantee you the right to remain silent and you should invoke that right. By the same token, do not speak to any investigators without first speaking to an attorney. Lastly, make sure to retain an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney. Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Staycie R. Sena is one of the premiere lawyers handling domestic violence cases in Orange County and the surrounding counties.

What Falls Under the Category of “Spousal Abuse” or “Domestic Violence”?

Domestic violence or spousal abuse in California includes any small or slight touching that occurs during an argument. The following are the most minimal domestic violence cases that Ms. Sena has seen: a diaper that was thrown into a trash can and came into contact with someone on the way, spitting on someone, and a pillow used to hit someone on the head. Please note that domestic violence charges can be filed even if there was not any touching at all. One example of this is breaking a picture frame during an argument and that could support a vandalism charge. Another example is grabbing someone’s cell phone. That could result in a dissuading a witness charge or interfering with an emergency response call charge.

What Punishments Could Be Imposed if I Am Convicted of a Domestic Violence Offense?

A: Common punishments for domestic violence range from state prison for the most serious cases to short anger management classes for minor cases. Usually fines, community service, restraining orders, and other programs are imposed as well. However, a domestic violence conviction could result in civil as well as criminal penalties and could affect an individual’s licensing or immigration standing, as well as family law consequences like custody, visitation, and child support orders. Please contact Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Staycie R. Sena for a consultation about the possible sentences that could be imposed and strategies on how to bypass those potential consequences.

Helping Families
Client Reviews
"Ms. Sena guided me through the dark ravages of domestic violence with scrupulous and empathetic support." Tammy S.
"I was charged with a crime that I did not commit. I feared that I would go to prison for a long time. Ms. Sena worked on my case around the clock. She met me at my home, met with my family and friends, and never gave up fighting for me. It took two years but I could not be happier with the outcome: she won the case. I am more thankful than words can say" Antonio F.