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Criminal Courts Bar Association

Domestic Violence

Renown Criminal Defense Attorney Skillfully Representing Clients Charged with Family Violence Cases

Crimes of domestic violence are some of the most emotionally challenging cases. Often, given the strained relationship between the parties, issues of bias, exaggeration and outright fabrication come into play. Defending against violent crime requires a comprehensive and strategic approach that varies with every case. At the Killedjian Law Corporation, Attorney Melanie Killedjian aggressively defends the rights of men and women charged with domestic violence offenses. For more than two decades, we have successfully defended clients facing some of the most serious domestic violence charges, helping our clients move on with their lives after their arrest.

What Is Domestic Violence in California?

Under California Penal Code § 13700, domestic violence refers to any act of abuse committed against a “spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or person with whom the suspect has had a child or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship.” In this context, abuse is defined as an intentional or reckless act that either caused or was intended to cause injury or place someone in fear of being injured. There are several domestic violence charges in California, the most common of which include:

  • Domestic battery (§ 243(e)(1))
  • Inflicting corporal injury upon a current or former spouse or partner (§ 273.5)
  • Inflicting corporal injury upon a child (§ 273d)
  • Child endangerment (§ 273a)
  • Criminal threats (§ 422)
  • Stalking (§ 646.9)

Regardless of whether a domestic violence offense is graded as a misdemeanor or felony, the consequences of a conviction can be life-changing.

Are Domestic Violence Crimes Felonies?

Not always. In California, some domestic violence crimes are felonies, but many are “wobbler offenses.” A wobbler offense is a crime that can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. Initially, prosecutors make the charging decision; however, judges also have the discretion to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor at various stages, including at a preliminary hearing and at sentencing. Importantly, a judge does not necessarily need to abide by the prosecutor’s decision on how to charge an offense.

Both prosecutors and judges may consider reducing a felony domestic violence charge to a misdemeanor if there are mitigating circumstances. An experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can be instrumental in reducing your exposure by presenting mitigating evidence in hopes of convincing the prosecutor or judge to reduce a wobbler felony to a misdemeanor

Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction

Those convicted of a domestic violence crime face the possibility of imprisonment, as well as probation, fines, and court costs. However, in addition to the criminal consequences of a domestic violence conviction, there are also severe collateral consequences of a conviction. A collateral consequence is not considered part of a person’s punishment but can have an equally adverse impact on their life. For example, if you are convicted of a DV crime, you will very likely lose your right to own a gun for the rest of your life.

A domestic violence conviction can also have adverse immigration consequences. For example, many domestic violence offenses are considered “aggravated felonies” or “crimes of moral turpitude,” which result in mandatory deportation for non-citizens.

Suffering a domestic violence conviction may also make it harder for you to get a job, enroll in school or obtain certain professional certifications.

Contact an Experienced Los Angeles Domestic Violence Defense Attorney to Start Fighting Your Case

If you were recently charged with a family violence offense in California, it is imperative that you immediately start working on a compelling defense. At the Killedjian Law Corporation, we provide our clients with the aggressive and strategic defense required to obtain the best result possible. Attorney Melanie Killedjian has been defending the rights of clients charged with domestic battery, child abuse and sex crimes for more than two decades and understands what it takes to mount a successful defense. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Melanie Killedjian at the Killedjian Law Corporation, call (818) 986-0888 today. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.

Client Reviews
I was referred to Melanie by a good friend of mine with whom she assisted in the past. This friend gave me nothing but glowing reviews of her and somehow, still managed to undersell how great Melanie is. From the day I made my first call to her, to the first time meeting her face to face (which was the very next day, so I'll add she's very accessible and prompt), until the very end she made it seemingly effortless on my part. She handled everything from beginning to end. Her professionalism was very assuring, and put my worries to rest. I went in her office feeling defeated and overwhelmed, fast forward to my final hearing and I left feeling victorious and overjoyed. Melanie, thank you for all your help! The services rendered and the peace of mind she gave me cannot be matched! Louie G.
I cannot say how grateful my family and I are to ms. Killedjian. The case she took on was very complex and multilayered. I fired two top lawyers before trusting Ms. Killedjian with my future. She remained confident and worked diligently for almost two years. She never changed or added to her fee. She worked with my immigration attorney to make sure I would not face immigration consequences. Ms. Killedjian law expertise and belief in her client got my case dismissed. We are so thankful to Ms. Killedjian and will forever remember how hard she fought for justice!! V.Y.
I just want to say that Melanie came HIGHLY recommended to me and she was the BEST decision I made for my criminal case. Melanie was so helpful, informative, straight forward, kind and always did everything she said she was going to do. She always responded to me contacting her and she always used the word "we" when communicating, as if "we" were in this thing together! I am so grateful for her professionalism and her approach. She was able to get my original severe charges dropped and i was given a minor charge because of how she presented the facts and evidence at hand. Shes amazing! So, if you're reading this and need not just a good attorney but a GREAT one, contact her! You will not regret it! Thank you Melanie for everything you did and continue to do! You're a life saver! Stacey S.
Melanie is amazing! She was able to help me with two felony charges in two different court systems simultaneously with results that far exceeded my expectations of what I thought was even possible. She refused to settle for anything less than the best possible outcome and has given me my complete freedom back. It honestly seems like she was able to work magic! There is no doubt that she knows what she is doing and knows how to get results. I was very selective in choosing a lawyer and she was definitely the right choice. She is kind, caring, compassionate, understanding, positive and supportive in every way. It has truly been a pleasure working with her and her delightful assistant, Elen. I would highly recommend her to anyone in need of an exceptional defense attorney. Bradley S.