San Bernardino Domestic Violence Attorney

The American Journal of Emergency Medicine claims that domestic violence cases rose 25-33% around the globe during 2020. This unintended consequence of pandemic-induced lockdowns, economic tensions, and uncertainty has only gotten worse as the years have progressed.

If you’ve recently been accused of a domestic violence crime, then it’s advised that you seek out the assistance of a domestic violence attorney in San Bernardino as soon as possible. While local courts understand the stressful social situation right now, they won’t take domestic violence accusations lightly.

The first thing you and your lawyer should determine is what exactly you’re getting charged with. From there, you’ll discuss the potential penalties associated with the crime and how you can defend yourself from getting convicted. Learn more about how our legal team here at Wallin & Klarich can help you cope with a domestic violence charge below.  

What is Domestic Violence?

California law defines domestic violence as any form of abuse against a:

  • Spouse
  • Former spouse
  • Cohabitant
  • Former cohabitant
  • Intimate partner
  • Former intimate partner
  • Current or former fiancée
  • The mother or father of your child

In the same penal code, abuse is defined as the intentional or reckless act of causing or attempting to cause bodily injury to another. Abuse could also mean placing a person in reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury to themselves or another person.

Learn more about the specific penal codes dealing with domestic abuse below:

PC 273.5(a) | Corporal Injury in Domestic Relations 

California penal code 273.5(a) makes it against the law to commit domestic violence that results in an injury. To be found guilty of this offense, the prosecutor must prove:

• You intentionally and unlawfully injured a spouse, former spouse, or another type of intimate partner

• The injury resulted in a traumatic condition

• You were not acting in self-defense

A traumatic condition means a wound that’s caused by the direct use of force. The wound does not have to be major to be considered traumatic.  

PC 243(e)(1) | Domestic Battery

Domestic battery is another form of domestic violence. Unlike Penal code 273.5(a), though, no injuries need to be present in order to be found guilty of this offense. To get convicted of domestic battery, a prosecutor must prove:

  • You willfully touched the victim in an offensive or harmful way
  • The victim is your spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, or another type of intimate partner

PC 422 | Criminal Threats of Violence

While this penal code doesn’t exclusively apply to domestic violence cases, it is a related crime. California Penal Code Section 422 makes it illegal to communicate a threat to someone that can result in injury or death to the person. In other words, it’s a crime to threaten violence or harm anyone.  

Domestic Violence Penalties | What You’re Facing 

The domestic violence crimes outlined above could get charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances of the crime, the evidence against you, your prior criminal history, and the extent of any injuries to the other party. Learn more about what criminal penalties to expect based on your charges below:  

Criminal Penalties for PC 273.5(a)

If you’re convicted of committing corporal injury to a domestic partner, then you could get hit with either a misdemeanor or felony. If you’re convicted of the misdemeanor offense, then expect to serve up to one year in jail and pay fines of up to $6,000. If you’re convicted of a felony, though, then you’ll likely get sentenced to:

  • Up to 4 years in state prison
  • Fines up to $6,000
  • Probation

That’s not all, either. If you’ve been convicted of similarly violent crimes within the past seven years of a new PC 273.5 violation, then you’ll endure harsher sentences including fines up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to 5 years.  

Criminal Penalties for PC 243(e)(1)

If you get convicted of misdemeanor domestic battery, then you’ll likely get sentenced to:

  • Up to one year in county jail
  • Fines up to $2,000
  • Probation
  • Court-ordered domestic violence classes

Federal Firearms Ban 

On top of facing the severe criminal penalties for a domestic violence crime, you can also be subject to a lifetime federal firearm ban according to both California and federal law. California Penal Code 29805 explains that a misdemeanor violation of penal code 273.5 can result in a lifetime firearm ban. If you were convicted of a different misdemeanor domestic violence crime, then you can still face a firearm ban for up to ten years.

Under federal law, anyone convicted of domestic violence is subject to a lifetime firearm ban. If you’re later found possessing a gun, you could face up to ten years in federal prison.  

Professional and Personal Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction

The criminal penalties associated with a domestic violence charge aren’t all you’ll have to contend with if you’re convicted in San Bernardino. You’ll likely face long-term professional and personal consequences, too.

The social stigma of being a convicted criminal accused of domestic violence is difficult to get past. It will hinder your ability to build new relationships, and it might even cause increased suspicion and anxiety within any existing relationships.

Further, you’ll have to disclose your past domestic violence conviction when you apply to rent a new home or seek out a new job. While this conviction might not immediately disqualify you, it will still be embarrassing to admit to your past conviction and have it continue to limit your opportunities.  

Possible Defenses to Domestic Violence Charges in San Bernardino 

Domestic violence crimes are often committed in the heat of the moment, but those actions can have life-long consequences if you’re convicted. In San Bernardino, domestic violence crimes are taken seriously by the local courts. You’ll need to have a strong defensive strategy to avoid a conviction or minimize the penalties if convicted. Learn more about the most common defense strategies used against domestic violence charges below.  


It’s often legal to use violence in self-defense if the situation warrants it. There is one important factor, though, and that’s the idea that the force you use in self-defense must be considered “reasonable” based on the circumstances. For instance, it would not be considered ‘reasonable’ force to assault someone who says they will never speak with you again. It would, however, be reasonable to use physical violence against someone who is attempting to attack you. In many instances, simply grabbing your partner’s wrist or pushing them can be enough for them to pursue domestic violence charges. In these cases, using a self-defense argument can be a great way of showing that the force you used was proportionate to the situation and was done so only out of self-defense. 

False Allegation

Another common defense strategy is to say that the allegations against you are false and that you never committed domestic violence. This type of defense strategy is often very challenging to prove because things can easily turn into a he-said, she-said situation. This, however, works in the favor of the defendant, since the prosecution has the burden of proof. It is common for the alleged victim to overexaggerate the situation and bolster what really happened. If you feel like this may have happened to you, contact one of our skilled defense attorneys and we’ll do everything in our power to ensure justice is served.   

Accidental Contact

Some of our worst accidents can happen at home, so it makes sense that your partner would be nearby and present at these times. It is not uncommon to hear stories of someone shoving a chair or throwing their shoes out of anger, only to accidentally come in contact with their spouse. In these situations, you can argue that accidental contact caused harm rather than an intentional act of violence. Without an intent to harm, there can be no criminal charges.  

Hire a Domestic Violence Defense Attorney: How We Can Help

The defense strategies above can be effective, but you need to make sure that the circumstances of your case match the defense strategy you plan to use. In order to do this, the best time to get professional help is as soon as possible. Developing a successful defense strategy takes time and diligence and you don’t want an attorney to cram this process. 

Additionally, it’s important to hire a local domestic violence defense attorney that is familiar with the San Bernardino courts. Before you hire just any attorney, consider whether they exemplify the following qualities:

  • Experience
  • Communication
  • Track record
  • Ethos – credibility

A lawyer lacking in any of these qualities may lack the ability to handle your case with the level of care that is needed. To have the best chance in your case, be sure to check for these factors in advance.  

40 Years of Experience Handling Domestic Violence Cases in San Bernardino 

If you’ve been arrested for a domestic violence crime, then hiring a domestic violence attorney in San Bernardino is crucial. The sooner you hire an attorney, the faster you can start working towards creating a solid defense strategy in court.

Here at Wallin & Klarich, we understand the severity of your situation. Our team of domestic violence attorneys has over 40 years of experience representing clients in San Bernardino. If you’re interested in learning more about your legal options from an experienced firm, then we’re ready to listen. Contact us now to get started.  

24/7 Communication With Your Attorney | The Wallin & Klarich Way 

Cases are won in the courtroom but made in the office. At Wallin & Klarich, we believe that communication and transparency are vital to a successful case. With all the paperwork and legality, we have found that it is common for the client to get lost in the legal process and only have a vague idea of what is going on in their case. We believe this is why so many people retain our law firm to help them when facing domestic violence charges. By keeping an open line of communication with our clients and walking side-by-side with them through the entire legal process, we have found that our clients are not only happier but receive a better outcome in their case. 

Give us a call at (877) 4-NO-JAIL so we can begin communicating on how we can get the best outcome for your case. 

Track Record of Success | Wallin & Klarich History of Winning Cases

Words mean nothing if the outcome of your case is not what you were looking for. We are confident enough in our abilities to deliver the best possible outcome in your case that we invite you to read about some of our previous clients’ experiences:

Reputation & Ethos | Wallin & Klarich A Reputation You Want on Your Side

There are hundreds of lawyers that have experience defending domestic violence charges throughout California, but few with 40+ years under their belt. Throughout our 40 years of representing persons facing domestic violence charges in San Bernardino, we have gained valuable knowledge not only of the crime and the defenses strategies associated with such a crime but also of the courts and the tactics of local prosecutors. This knowledge can only be gained through extensive experience and is of utmost value. Contact us today by calling (877) 4-NO-JAIL to speak to one of our skilled attorneys, and let’s determine what the best way to approach your case is. 


When you’re ready to call, we’ll be ready to help.

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