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  • Writer's pictureBlair Goss

Domestic Violence Statute of Limitations - California Law That Victims Must Understand

The length of the Statute of Limitations for domestic violence in California changed not so long ago, and prosecutors believe it's the best for victims because now they have more time to come forward. In this article, victims of domestic violence can find all the information they must know if they're going through the filing process and require legal assistance.


What Is the Domestic Violence Statute of Limitations in California?


Understanding the definition of the Statute of Limitations is the first thing to remember if a victim is considering seeking help for their domestic violence case.


The Statute of Limitations is how long victims have to file a lawsuit for domestic violence cases.

Initially, the state gave people a year to file for a misdemeanor domestic violence offense and three years for a felony domestic violence offense.


Nonetheless, criminal law has changed, and now, victims have up to five years to report physical violence and other domestic violence charges.


It's a win for victims because many did not come forward because they were still in the relationship while domestic violence was happening.


Furthermore, changes in the law also include the addition of a new category called 'coercive control,' which includes numerous abusive behaviors beyond physical violence.


What Factors Keep Domestic Violence Victims from Coming Forward?

What Factors Keep Domestic Violence Victims from Coming Forward?


Numerous factors often influence the victim's decision for them to not come forward. In many cases, reporting their current or former spouse is a painful process, which is why it can take so long.

Oftentimes, domestic abuse takes place gradually. Therefore, victims may not realize what's going on until violence happens.


In other cases, victims prefer not to file criminal charges because they fear retaliation from the abuser.

According to domestic violence experts, sometimes the abuser will intimidate their intimate partner and tell them they'll hurt them or their families if they try to get a domestic violence restraining order. This can keep people from coming forward and contacting the authorities.


Lastly, the victim's life may be in danger the whole time because they most likely live with the abuser, which makes matters more challenging.


Overall, even though these are fears that many domestic abuse victims experience, they should remember that no one has a right to abuse someone else. Law stands on their side, and according to the California penal code, the abuser will have to handle the consequences of their actions.


What Victims Must Do If Their Statute of Limitations Expired


Although the California domestic violence law changed to benefit victims, sometimes people still don't come forward on time. Goss Law has more information on statute of limitations California sexual assault.


Nonetheless, if the victim wants to file a lawsuit for criminal charges or domestic violence charges, there are still ways for them to get justice for their case. Here are some things they must do:


Filing a Police Report


Initially, if the Statute of Limitations expired, according to California domestic violence laws, the person may be unable to file a lawsuit.


Nonetheless, they can still file a police report and create a record of what happened. If the abuser tries to do it again in the future, the victim will be able to file charges.


Getting a Restraining Order


Victims who are in danger should immediately contact law enforcement officers and try to get a restraining order.


People who have had a dating or engagement relationship often feel conflicted about having to seek a law enforcement response. However, it's what they must do if they're in danger.


If victims get a restraining order against their intimate partner, they'll have peace of mind knowing they can't come near them for a while.


Hiring Legal Assistance


To ensure the abuser gets a domestic violence conviction, the best alternative is to always hire legal assistance.


Victims should remember they're not alone in the process. They're probably dealing with a corporal injury asides from the psychological consequences of what happened to them, which will probably make them feel confused, disappointed, and worried about the future.


Nonetheless, criminal defense attorneys in Sacramento exist to help them. They're professionals who will passionately defend them and do everything they can to guarantee the abuser gets a domestic violence conviction and deals with the consequences of their actions.


California Domestic Violence Laws Could Consider the Case a Felony


In some cases, according to the California penal code, the domestic violence charge could be a felony. It's one of the reasons why getting help from a criminal defense attorney is imperative - victims must only rely on the best experts to handle their cases.


If the abuser used a weapon, has a history of abuse, or inflicted intense physical harm, victims could charge them with a felony.


Domestic Violence Crimes Are Complicated

Domestic Violence Crimes Are Complicated


Unfortunately, many factors influence victims when they're suffering from domestic violence. They might spend months or even years in silence and fearing the consequences of talking about what happened and reporting it to the police.


If victims come forward and prove that domestic violence happened, the abuser might even have to spend some time in jail.


The amount of time they spend behind bars will depend on numerous factors, including whether or not it has happened before and the severity of the victim's injuries. Contact Goss Law for more information on DUI statute of limitations California.


Overall, victims should always remember that no one has a right to abuse them in any way. The laws are on their side, and they should contact legal assistance and start the process as soon as possible.


Getting Legal Help Today


There's a criminal procedure that victims have to go through when filing a lawsuit against their abuser. They must file a report, attend preliminary hearings, and eventually wait for a sentence.


Many victims feel immensely overwhelmed when they're going through this process because they're already scared of what the abuser might do to retaliate.


Nonetheless, they should remember that there are lawyers willing to passionately defend them, such as the ones at Goss Law.


These attorneys are ready to listen to what happened to them and help them throughout the process. They'll do everything in their power to guarantee the abuser gets what they deserve, so victims should get help now if they need it.

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