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Michael Berg

Michael Berg, Certified Specialist in Criminal Law

Domestic Violence

San Jose Domestic Violence

Domestic violence cases apply to family relationships and may involve:

  • Husband
  • Wife
  • Married, divorced, separated
  • Children's parents, guardians
  • Dating couples
  • Sexual partners
  • Same-sex couples
  • Stepparents
  • Grandparents
  • Extended family
  • Roommates – present or former

A domestic violence case typically starts as a verbal argument and escalates into a physical altercation, although in many instances there is no physical contact at all between the parties. Threat or perceived threat in the mind of the victim is sufficient for a domestic violence charge. The police are alerted to the scene of the confrontation and the arresting officer makes a determination, based on his observation and questioning, whether to make an arrest as well as which party to arrest. Frequently the accused is indeed arrested immediately and taken to jail. Often, after the victim cools down, she decides to drop the case – but once the alleged abuser is arrested, the case is in the hands of the prosecutor, not the victim, and he will proceed.

A San Jose, California domestic violence conviction can result in severe consequences, including:

  • Felony: prison sentence from 3 months to 36 months
  • Misdemeanor: jail up to 6 months
  • Domestic violence counseling requirement for one year
  • Fines
  • Restraining orders
  • Child visitation restrictions
  • Criminal record

You will need experienced legal representation to defend against domestic violence charges. The California criminal justice system is a complicated maze consisting of police, officials, prosecutors, courts, judges, paperwork, filing deadlines and seemingly endless appointments. You are simply not equipped to handle your case by yourself. Obtain skilled and qualified legal representation from a San Jose domestic violence criminal defense attorney. Call us now for a free consultation.

San Jose, California Emergency Protective Order

As the name states, this restraining order is issued on an emergency basis only. When a police officer arrives at the scene of the altercation and feels that there is an immediate or imminent threat of harm to the victim or another, he will call a judge – at any hour of the day or night – explain the circumstances, and request this emergency protection. It is effective for a maximum of five business days or seven calendar days. The restraining order can also be issued if:

  • The child or children are in danger of abuse
  • The child or children are in danger of abduction

The ultimate purpose of this emergency protective order is to give the victim time to request a formal domestic violence restraining order in court.

Effects of the emergency protective order may include:

  • Removes the alleged accuser from the home of the victim
  • Prohibits physical contact between the parties
  • Child custody immediately given to the victim
  • Gives possession of jointly owned pets to the victim
  • Prohibits abuser from purchasing or possessing a firearm
  • If married, requires abuser to pay child and spousal support
  • Requires abuser to pay costs related to abuse incident, such as lost wages, medical care and legal fees
  • Requires abuser to immediately attend batterer counseling treatment
  • Other appropriate orders may be issued by the court

As you can see, if you have been accused of domestic violence, the repercussions are serious and immediate. If you were arrested for domestic violence, obtain the services of a skilled and experienced San Jose domestic violence attorney as soon as possible. You need to mount a solid and aggressive defense and that requires the expertise of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Call us now for a free legal consultation to see how we can help you.

Other Restraining Orders You Could Face           

  • Temporary Restraining Order (ex parte):


Normally when the victim applies for a restraining order, s/he is given a court date, but that may take up to three weeks. Then s/he will have to go back and face a formal court hearing. However, if the victim is in immediate danger, or alleges so, and immediate protection is requested or required, the victim can ask for an "ex-parte" order – without the other person present.

                  This means that the alleged abuser can be ordered to:

  • Leave the home
  • Cease all contact with the victim
  • Submit to any court orders such as is stated in an emergency protective order


  • Post-Hearing Restraining Order:


  • This is the permanent order that lasts up to 5 years.
  • The victim can make a formal request to extend it for an additional 5 years or even permanently.
  • No further abuse is required for the court to extend the order.

The San Jose District Attorney is prepared to fight for the victim and against the alleged abuser. You must obtain superior legal representation to protect you or you could lose almost everything, including your freedom, the right to visit your children, your property, and more. You are invited to call our office for an immediate, no-cost legal consultation.

You May Not Have to Go to Trial for Domestic Violence

Despite facing jail or prison, losing your home and property, limitations on your freedom, child visitation restrictions, and other consequences of a domestic violence conviction, your San Jose domestic violence attorney can work on your behalf to attain a plea agreement. It is almost always to your benefit to know what the results of the case will be rather than gamble at trial.  Many domestic violence cases are settled through a plea agreement; in fact, the majority of domestic violence cases are settled via plea agreements.

The Santa Clara District Attorney's Office, the judge, and you – through your attorney – may reach a satisfactory agreement, and as long as you abide by the terms of the agreement, you may avoid jail, prison, fines, and other harsh consequences. The key to a positive resolution is your attorney. Call us for a free consultation now. Let us see how we can help you.


San Jose, Santa Clara Resources:

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-7233
  • United States Attorney, Northern District of California, 150 Almaden Blvd., Suite 900, San Jose, CA 95113
  • Department of Alcohol and Drug Services: (408) 792-5651
  • Assessment Center: (408) 468-1870
  • Adult Probation Office: ((408) 435-2100
  • The Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara,
  • Santa Clara Downtown Superior Court (DTS), 191 N. First St., San Jose CA 95113, (408) 882-2120
  • Criminal Cases: Hall of Justice, 190-200 West Hedding Street, San Jose, CA 95110, (408) 808-6600
  • The Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara, Main Hall of Justice Phone Number: (408) 808-6600
  • The Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara, Mailing Address: 191 N. First Street, San Jose, CA 95113
  • California Courts, Judicial Branch Home,
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California,
  • Office of the District Attorney, Santa Clara County, 70 West Hedding Street, West Wing, San Jose, CA 95110,
  • Office of the District Attorney, Santa Clara County, (408) 299-7400,
  • Office of the District Attorney, Santa Clara County, email,