California treats domestic violence crime very seriously. Domestic violence includes emotional and physical abuses inflicted upon a spouse, an intimate partner, a former intimate partner, a child or any other family member.
You can be charged with domestic abuse for any threatening or violent action, even if you did not intentionally mean to threaten or inflict harm on the person. Behaviors considered abusive: threatening, stalking, incessant phone calling, and intimidating another person. And assault by these means – financial, social, verbal, physical or sexual – falls under the category of domestic violence in California.
Depending on severity of the abuse, domestic violence can be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony. Penalty for a misdemeanor: the possibility of serving up to 6 months in jail, paying fines, completing community service hours, completing a year of counseling, receiving a Stay-Away Order from the victim, and receiving a “No Harm, No Strike” Order for couples. Penalty for a felony: include the same penalties for a misdemeanor, but prison time can be extended up to three years.
Even if the alleged victim does not want you arrested or drops the charges, you can still be arrested and prosecuted for the crime. In California, domestic violence is treated as such a serious offence that specially appointed prosecutors try the cases and are the only ones that are permitted to drop the charges.