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What is considered domestic violence in California?

Domestic violence situations and charges can be complicated. Domestic violence charges can impact the accused individual and their family life. For that reason, accused individuals should know how to respond to domestic violence accusations and charges.

How is domestic violence classified in California?

Domestic violence is considered abuse or threats when the people involved are in, or have been in, an intimate relationships such as married couples or domestic partners; individuals who are dating or used to date; individuals who live together or used to live together or individuals who have a child together.

Domestic abuse is defined as:

  • Intentionally or recklessly trying to physically hurt someone or physically hurting someone.
  • Making someone reasonably afraid that they or someone else are about to be seriously harmed, including making threats or promising to harm someone.
  • Behavior that is threatening, harassing, stalking, or hitting someone or that disturbs someone’s peace. Destroying someone’s personal property can also be considered domestic violence.

Physical abuse does not only include hitting but can also include kicking, shoving, pushing hair pulling, throwing objects, scaring and restricting freedom of movement. Domestic violence can also include other forms of abuse in addition to physical abuse such as verbal, emotional, psychological, sexual and financial abuse.

In many situations, it can be difficult for individuals who are facing domestic violence allegations and charges to defend themselves against those charges. Domestic violence situations are serious, which is why accused individuals should be aware of their criminal defense options to help guide them through whatever accusations they face.

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