A “domestic violence” charge can cover a wide range of allegations.

The most common examples are PC 243 (e), battery on a cohabitant or spouse, and PC 273.5, corporal injury to a cohabitant or spouse. A battery can be as simple as a rude or angry touching with no injury at all. For the corporal injury, there must be some actual injury to the body.

The alleged victim does not need to be a spouse or even a roommate. Examples include a person with whom you have a child, someone you have dated, or someone you live with.

This charge can be a misdemeanor or a felony.


The consequences can be life changing.

If you are not a citizen, you can be deported, even if you are a “Lawful Permanent Resident” and have a “Green Card.”

There can be a lifetime ban on owning or possessing firearms and ammunition.

As a felony, the penalty can be four years in prison, but sentencing in California is complex. There are additional potential allegations that have the effect of adding a significant amount of potential time to the sentence and can make this crime a “strike.”


Domestic violence cases can be defended on a number of grounds. These include: the allegations were fabricated or exaggerated, you were acting in self-defense, and the injuries were actually caused by some other event. Each case is unique, and you need to speak to us for an evaluation.

Many times the case starts with an argument that gets out of hand, false allegations are made, and the alleged victim will cool off and want to drop charges. Unfortunately, this is not entirely within the control of the alleged victim. Attorney Cantrell will use this situation to help obtain the best possible result. Attorney Mark Cantrell has licensed private investigators who will conduct an independent investigation to find the evidence you need to defend the case.


Many people are surprised to learn that the police are allowed to lie to the suspect in an attempt to obtain a confession or incriminating statements. This is just one more reason it is foolish to talk to the authorities. If you are under investigation call us immediately so we can protect you.

Sometimes the police will do what is called a “ruse phone call.” The alleged victim will call you on the phone and make statements about what happened and try to get you to make admissions. Do NOT talk to the alleged victim or to anyone else about the case. The police are recording the call and many times defendants will say something just to try to smooth things over and those statements will later sound very incriminating.

Mark Cantrell is well known in the Riverside criminal defense community as a trial attorney with many successful cases to his credit. When you visit his office, he will be proud to show you newspaper articles about his cases - not paid advertisements.

The biggest mistake an accused person can make is to retain an attorney who does not do trials. The District Attorney has no reason to compromise and give you a break if your attorney is known as a “plea bargain” attorney.