Domestic violence charges carry a serious stigma on a criminal record.
If you are charged with a common domestic abuse offense such as Penal Code 243(e)(1) PC domestic battery or Penal Code 273.5 PC corporal injury on a spouse, you and your attorney may want to consider trying to negotiate a plea bargain to another offense--one that will be less of a red flag to future employers and romantic partners (and may carry lighter penalties as well).
For example, Penal Code 591 PC damaging a telephone line is sometimes charged in domestic violence situations.
This offense can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor--which means it carries similar penalties to corporal injury on a spouse and potentially more severe penalties than domestic battery. But it doesn't look quite as bad on a criminal record as one of those offenses. If the prosecutor agrees to charge PC 591 damaging a telephone line as a misdemeanor, it can be a very advantageous charge reduction from a more conventional domestic violence offense.
Another reduced charge to consider is Penal Code 601 PC aggravated trespass. This crime is charged against people who threaten another person's safety and then unlawfully enter that person's home or workplace intending to make good on the threat.
In domestic violence situations, there are often allegations that support a charge of aggravated trespass. But someone who is not familiar with the legal definition of aggravated trespass will not necessarily know what the offense entails, which means it is less of a black mark on your record.
Aggravated trespass can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor--and it makes the most sense to try to negotiate for it to be charged as a misdemeanor. (Read about Shouse Law Group winning a "not guilty" verdict in a recent California "domestic violence" case. Also read our article about the connection between domestic violence and criminal threats in California.)