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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.)
About the Author
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.