Domestic Violence


Domestic violence does not discriminate. Anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender can be a victim – or perpetrator – of domestic violence. It can happen to people who are married, living together or who are dating. It affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

Domestic Violence Arrests


Domestic abuse is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. Many abusive partners may seem absolutely perfect in the early stages of a relationship. Possessive and controlling behaviors don’t always appear overnight, but rather emerge and intensify as the relationship grows.

Dismissal Is Difficult But Not Impossible


Domestic violence is likely more common than a DUI. It's fixable. But the repercussions can be more harmful than a DUI. Take contronl and be proactive to make the necessary changes before the prosecution does it for you.

This is an important step that 99% of attorneys ignore. This is the stage when the prosecutor will decide whether or not to file charges. Many attorneys ignore this stage because it's less profitable for their effort.

This is a major stage because of two economical factors. One is whether or not the bail amount is sufficient. The other factor is the restraining orderitself because the defendant can be ordered to move away.

Your future depends on this stage since this is the stage were you are likely to enter into an agreement or be sentenced. That agreement may include a criminal record that affects future job opportunities for life.

About Us

Michael Devereux is one of the more highly respected defense attorneys in Los Angeles. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Devereux the premiere Los Angeles attorney located in prestigious Century City. Mr. Devereux started his own firm in 2004 after working for the Cochran Firm, and assisting with the Robert Blake and Michael Jackson defense teams. As the sole proprietor of Wexford Law, Mr. Devereux has been successfully representing clients for close to 20 years. Former clients, their family and friends repeatedly return to Michael Devereux for help in matters involving appeals, civil rights, cyber crimes, defamation, forfeiture, Internet matters, litigation, restraining orders and white-collar crime. Mr. Devereux loves taking on the government and major corporations.

Michael Devereux, Top Rated Attorney for Domestic Violence Defense

Domestic violence is a serious crime that can have devastating consequences, including future job opportunities. Domestic violence is likely the most common criminal charge that the prosecutor office sees. Likely more common than a DUI. At Wexford Law we understand that there are two types of domestic violence prosecutors: the prosecutor that seeks punishment; or the prosecutor that desires to see that you become pro-active with the changes in your life. The latter would prefer to get involved as little as possible if you can demonstrate that you can be pro-active. The former would prefer that you sit in jail for your actions. At Wexford Law we will provide you with the strategy to become pro-active. Call today for a free consultation.

Domestic Violence Prosecution Is Big Money

Since the O.J. Simpson murder trial, having the domestic violence case dismissed is practically impossible because special interests have pumped significant dollars into enforcing and prosecuting Domestic violence cases. Prosecutors love that money so it has become very competitive between prosecutors offices across the country to seek those funds. If the special interests believe that the prosecutor's office is laxed in prosecuting domestic violence cases then the funds are likely to be apportioned to another agency that is tougher on domestic violence cases. Hence, in California, law enforcement no longer has the discretion to drop the charges. By statute, every domestic violence call has to be written up and filed with the prosecutor's office.

Despite Big Money Dismissal Is Still Probable

Dismissal of a domestic violence matters are rare, but not impossible. There are three opporutinities to have the matter dismissed: 1) at pre-filing; 2) at the trial stage; and 3) after completion of sentence. The biggest mistake that a client can make is not to contact an attorney immediately after arrest. The longer a client waits to contact an attorney, the more likely the costs will increase. First and foremost, if the client contacted an attorney before he bailed out of jail, the bail amount could by 30% to 40% less than what they paid. In addition, a damn good attorney knows how to draft a letter to the prosecutor providing reasons to reject the case. A rejection means that there is no record of the case which in effect never has to be disclosed to anyone, not even to your employer.

Before First Court Date

The first thing to do is to retain counsel for the reasons mentioned above. In addition, a great attorney will have you sign up for counseling immediately. Not marriage counseling, because that is likely to upset a prosecutor since most abusers tend to blame the spouse. This is counseling specifically for the client. It is desirable that counseling begins before the first court date.

Can Spouse Refuse To Testify

In many cases it doesn't matter because there is a third witness. In addition, there is no marital privilege in domestic violence cases so the court will insist that the spouse does testify, even against their will. The spouse does have certain rights pursuant to Marsy's Law in which the spouse will be held in contempt of court, but there is little penalty. If you are the victim see our Victim's Rights page.

At Arraignment

An arraignment is typically a formality. However, at a arraignment that contains domestic violence there are two major issues of concern. The first issue is the bail amount. The second issue is the automatic restraining order which typically contains a no contact provision meaning that someone has to move. For many this creates a financial burden. An attorney is helpful to reduce the order.

Penal Code § 242(1)

Domestic battery. Penal Code § 242, battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another punishablen up to six months in jail and/or a $2,000 fine. If charged as a felony then the defendant is facing prison time from 18 to 36 months., along with a fine. Penal Code § 242

Penal Code § 243(e)

Penal Code § 243 is California's statute on domestic battery – defines this offense as a “battery” committed against a person with whom you have an intimate relationship. Typically, battery is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 or six to twelve months imprisonment in the county jail, or both. Penal Code § 243(e)

Penal Code § 273.5

Corporal injuary with willful infliction can be charged either as a misdemeanor or as a felony. If charged as a felony, the maximum prison sentence is four years in state prison; if a misdemeanor, the maximum sentence is one year in county jail. In either event, a fine of up to $6,000 may also be imposed. Penal Code § 273.5

Penal Code § 273(d)

Child abuse can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. If charged as a felony, the maximum prison sentence is generally six years; as a misdemeanor, the maximum jail sentence is one year. In either case, upon conviction a person may also be required to pay a fine up to $6,000. Penal Code § 273(d)

Penal Code § 368 Elder Abuse

If a person commits Elder Abuse or abuse of a Dependent Adult in circumstances likely to produce great bodily harm or death, the crime can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, punishable by a fine of up to $6,000, imprisonment for up to four years, or both. Otherwise, the crime is a misdemeanor.

Penal Code § 29805 (Gun Rights)

Convicted of a misdemeanor battery prohibits the defendant from owning, buying, receiving, or possessing a firearm for a period of 10 years following the date conviction. Penal Code Section 29800 imposes a lifetime ban on individuals convicted of any felony. Moreover, federal statutes impose a lifetime ban on gun ownership and possession for any person convicted of any felony or a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence under certain circumstances.

Results Oriented - Wexford Law is Michael Devereux, Not A Law Firm By Committee

Results matter at Wexford Law. Our approach is client-oriented, and we are committed to providing the best results possible. Some firms measure success by their growth in size. Yet, other firms measure their success by profit. Our priority is to measure our success based upon results. You will not be shuffled off to a junior attorney. Your attorney will have close to 20 years of attorney experience from beginning to end. Our endeavour is to establish long-lasting relationships with our clients so that they can refer us to their friends and family.

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