At some point in every relationship or marriage, couples will have arguments
about a wide range of issues from financial matters to parenting decisions.
While no relationship is absent from heated debates, couples may wonder
what separates a fight from domestic abuse. In some cases, there are clear
indications, such as when one partner resorts to violence.
However, this distinction can often be unclear and the accused may not
have a firm understanding of whether or not abuse has legally occurred.
California takes accusations of domestic violence seriously and the first
step in determining whether a fight or argument has crossed the legal
line is to understand what constitutes domestic abuse.
Contact Blumenthal Law Offices for your
free consultation. Avaialbe 24/7.
What Is Domestic Abuse?
Domestic abuse can take on many forms including physical, sexual, or emotional
abuse and can occur when a person intentionally causes physical or emotional
harm to a family member or cohabitant. While acts or threats of violence
can constitute abuse, a person can also be charged when no or minimal
physical contact occurs.
Emotional, or verbal abuse, can include:
- Repeated threats
- Attempts to embarrass
- Attempts to restrict action
What Differentiates Abuse From an Argument?
There are numerous factors which can separate an argument or disagreement
from abuse. While couples may disagree over the best way to solve a problem,
in cases of abuse, one partner will engage in actions that seek to establish
control over their partner.
For example, if a couple is engaged in an argument, physical abuse can
occur when one person strikes or hits their partner to ensure that they
get their way. An example of emotional abuse is when a person attempts
to block their partner from participating in a decision through belittlement
or by insulting their intelligence.
Another indication of abuse is the existence of a pattern of behavior.
As emotional abuse is psychological in nature, patterns of conduct play
a large role in determining abuse. Arguments can often bring feelings
of anger and frustration to the surface and couples may resort to insults
or may act uncharacteristically.
This type of behavior may become abuse when it is a constant factor in
disputes. For example, if one spouse repeatedly tells their partner that
their opinions are dumb or invalid, these actions may constitute verbal abuse.
It is important to understand the actions and behavior that constitute
domestic violence as once an accusation is made, it may not be possible
to stop an investigation, even if both parties wish to have the charges
dropped. In California, the prosecution can conduct an investigation and
decide whether or not to press charges, even if the accuser recants or
changes their story.
Attorneys Defending the Accused
If you or someone you know has been charged with domestic violence, it
is imperative to secure an uncompromising legal defense from
Blumenthal Law Offices. The circumstances and nature of domestic abuse cases can mean that individuals
can be facing charges based off of misremembered events, exaggerated claims,
or false accusations.
Riverside attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience and focus exclusively
on criminal defense.
Call (951) 682-5110 to
schedule a free consultation with our firm today.