How Long Do You Have To File a Police Report for Domestic Violence in California?

How Long Do You Have To File a Police Report for Domestic Violence in California?

In many cases, the police will immediately respond to your domestic situation in Redwood City, CA. You or the other person might call for help. Alternatively, witnesses will contact the police to report the incident. In either situation, you will not need to file a police report. Instead, the police will investigate and make an arrest decision on the spot.

But sometimes, domestic violence must be reported. Domestic violence can signify an ongoing and potentially escalating problem.

If you’re facing domestic violence charges in Redwood City, California, contact us at Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law for assistance. We offer a free initial consultation by calling (650) 299-0500.

How Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law Can Help After Domestic Violence Charges in Redwood City

How Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law Can Help After Domestic Violence Charges in Redwood City

Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, has been helping those accused of crimes since 2005. Our Redwood City domestic violence attorneys have won over 50 criminal trials and successfully resolved more than 3,000 cases since our criminal defense law firm was founded. We can help defend you if you’ve been accused of domestic violence in Redwood City, California, by:

  • Ensuring your rights and interests are represented at all times
  • Internally investigating the prosecution’s case and evidence against you
  • Negotiating to have your charges dismissed or reduced if possible

A criminal conviction can interfere with your ability to get a job, rent a home, or even go to school. Contact Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, for a free consultation to discuss your charges and how we can help you get the best possible outcome in your case.

How Many Domestic Violence Cases Are Reported in California?

Domestic violence gets handled in two ways in California. In the criminal system, police respond to reports of domestic violence calls. They investigate the crime and decide whether to arrest the perpetrator. If prosecutors agree that the evidence supports the accusation, they can bring criminal charges.

According to an audit conducted in 2015, Los Angeles police agencies receive about 48,000 domestic violence calls each year, leading to 15,000 police reports and 6,100 domestic violence arrests.

Domestic violence also falls under the family court system. A victim of domestic violence can petition for a protective order. A judge reviews the petition and determines whether the allegations justify a restraining order.

In the 2021–22 fiscal year, Los Angeles County courts received over 30,000 petitions for domestic violence protective orders. The court’s biennial report does not identify how many of these petitions were granted by the courts.

Time Limits on Filing a Police Report for Domestic Violence in California

California law does not set a deadline for reporting domestic violence. But several practical considerations limit how long you can wait to file a police report.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations determines how long prosecutors have to file a case. A judge will immediately dismiss a case brought after the statute of limitations has expired. If you want the police and prosecutors to pursue a case against your abuser, you must report it within the statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations for domestic violence depends on the severity of the attack. Felony domestic violence requires:

  • A willful attack
  • Bodily injury that results in trauma
  • A victim who is a current or former spouse, cohabitant, fiancée, co-parent, or person with a dating relationship

The statute of limitations for felony domestic violence is five years.

Misdemeanor assault, on the other hand, has a much shorter statute of limitations. For example, prosecutors only have one year to bring charges for simple assault if someone threatens to harm a domestic partner but does not carry out the threat.

Protective Orders

You can get a restraining order against someone who has abused you. But to do so, you need to document the abuse. Judges give petitioners some leeway since they know victims often have reservations about reporting abusers. But you should report abuse as soon as possible to have the strongest case for a restraining order.

False Accusations

Sometimes, abusers will defend themselves by making false accusations against the victim. By muddying the waters and making their actions seem like self-defense, they hope to escape criminal charges.

Reporting domestic violence committed against you will help reduce the impact of false accusations. You have greater credibility when your police report has an earlier date. And if prosecutors charge you with domestic violence, a judge or jury will be more likely to believe your version of the story based on the report you filed against your accuser.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Redwood City Domestic Violence Lawyers

Our attorneys conduct thorough investigations on behalf of our clients to ensure that they are not falsely accused victims of domestic violence. To discuss how we can defend you from domestic violence charges, contact Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, for a free consultation with an experienced Redwood City domestic violence lawyer.

Call Now Button