Santa Clarita Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer
Arrested for spousal abuse, assault or battery on a cohabitant or criminal threats in Santa Clarita, we can
help. Matthew has over 25 years experience defending domestic violence cases in Valencia, Canyon
Country, Castaic, Santa Clarita Valley and Los Angeles. Matt has the highest success rate and is a top
rated lawyer among his peers. For those facing a DV charge it can be a very worrisome time. What will
happen when I go to Court? Will I go to Jail? These are all legitimate questions that people have. Top
Rated Santa Clarita Domestic Violence Attorney Matthew Ruff can hep answer these and all of your
Are you facing a domestic violence charge in Santa Clarita? Our Valencia / Santa Clarita Law Firm handles
every type of domestic violence case. We assist clients accused of assault, stalking, spousal abuse, phone
and email harassment, all the way to Domestic Violence homicides. Regardless of the alleged offense, we
can help you present your best legal defense. Prosecutors are now taking Domestic Violence accusations
very seriously. Even in cases where none of the parties involved want to press charges, you may still find
yourself in Court. Incidents that would not have led to charges being filed 15 years ago are now a high
priority for district attorneys. A phone call to 911 will often result in the accused being arrested and held on
$50,000 bail or more.
Recent Case Result:
Matt was retained by a young man who was arrested by the LASD after his girlfriend called 911 and reported
being punched in the face. The incident took place after an argument about finances and there was a lot of
anger and emotion. Deputies showed up at the client's house and arrested him. He allegedly admitted to
punching her and he was charged with PC 243e1, battery on a cohabitant. Matt took the case and argued
the evidence was lacking to prove the crime. At trial the victim testified he did it, the Sheriff Deputy testified
he confessed. However, Matthew convinced the Jury his client was NOT GUILTY and he was ACQUITTED
on all charges. (Los Angeles Case Number 5584236)
Call Attorney Matthew Ruff at 661-327-7833
Some of the common Santa Clarita Domestic Violence criminal violations are as follows:
- Spousal Abuse, PC 273.5
- Assault, PC 240
- Assault with deadly weapon or great force, PC 245(a)
- Battery, PC 242, 243, 243e1
- Child Abduction, PC 278, 278.5
- Contempt of Court, PC 166
- Disturbing the Peace. PC 415
- Criminal Threats, PC 422
- Witness Intimidation, PC 136.1
- Rape of Spouse, PC 262
- Telephone Harassment, PC 653m
- Trespass, PC 602
- Violation of a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, PC 273.6
What if the alleged "victim" does NOT want to press charges or prosecute?
This is a common question asked of those arrested and charged with domestic violence. The quick answer
is that it does not matter. The Law does not regard the wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, domestic partner or family
member as a party or plaintiff. In the eyes of the law the person that was injured or called the police is
merely a witness in the case. From the standpoint of the District Attorney, the victim has no say in how the
case is prosecuted in the Santa Clarita Valley Court.
Most domestic violence charges may be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony because they are what are
known as "wobblers". How it is filed by the Prosecutor is based on the seriousness of the case. Serious
injuries (including severe cuts, large bruises and broken bones) will almost always be charged as a felony.
When no injury exists or where there is slight injury, these cases will generally be filed as a misdemeanor.
Both prior acts of reported domestic violence and the criminal history of the accused may also influence
whether the case will be filed as a felony.
In some cases, hiring a Lawyer early could allow for early intervention and dismissal of the charges. A local
experienced criminal defense attorney can contact the prosecutor and fully explain the "whole story" which is
often left out of the police report.
For example, In a recent Santa Clarita case we were hired by the accuser to represent her fiance in a
spousal abuse case where he allegedly attacked her with a weapon. She wanted to keep him from being
convicted of any criminal charges. Due to the fact we were retained early, we advised the client of how the
investigation will unfold and how to proceed. We explained the process to the family so they understood the
potential repercussions. We intervened with the police and the District Attorney and when all was said and
done the charges were dropped.
What if the "victim" does not want to drop the charges?
In not all cases is the "accuser" or "victim" very cooperative or interested in having the charges dropped.
Sometimes the complaining witness wants to see the accused get convicted because it may benefit them in
custody proceedings or in a future divorce settlement. In a recent case we represented the husband in a PC
273.5 case where the wife had sustained a black eye. Our client told us it was done in self defense. The
"victim", we believed distorted the facts and had the ulterior motive of money in upcoming divorce and civil
proceedings. We took an aggressive stance and fought the false allegation all the way to trial. We were
able to convince 12 jurors that the client did in fact act in self defense and our client was found not guilty on
Any Domestic Violence accusations are a serious criminal matter. You need a serious Santa Clarita
Domestic Defense attorney to help you. Our domestic violence lawyers have handled many cases of this
type in the 25 plus years we have been practicing criminal defense law. Before founding this firm, we worked
for the District Attorney’s Office as prosecutors. We understand every aspect of these cases and we can
help you through this process.
The Law of spousal abuse (PC 273.5) in California:
Penal Code § 273.5. Infliction of injury on present or former spouse or cohabitant
or parent of child; Punishment;
(a) Any individual who willfully inflicts upon a person who is his or her spouse, former
spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or the mother or father of his or her child,
corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition , is guilty of a felony, and upon
conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three,
or four years, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of up to six
thousand dollars ($6,000) or by both that fine and jail or imprisonment.
(The law defines a "traumatic condition" quite liberally, it can involve minor redness to
the skin, swelling, a small bruise, scrapes, etc.)
Even though the law regards spousal abuse as a felony, attorneys can negotiate the case down to a
misdemeanor, infractions or in many cases convince the District Attorney to modify the charge to a non-
domestic violence crime.
We know our clients are concerned about jail time and a conviction on their criminal record. We can give
you advice about your legal options and information about defenses and strategies that have worked for our
clients in the past.
Contact our Santa Clarita Attorneys for more detailed and case specific information and a free case
assessment. Or if your case requires more immediate attention, such as if the case is set for an arraignment
soon, call Matt at 661-327-7833 and ask to speak directly with the attorney, you will not be "passed
off" to a case manager or paralegal. We cover Valencia, Santa Clarita, Newhall, Canyon Country and
In our experience early intervention by a lawyer is the best way to avoid charges being filed. If you have
been accused of spousal abuse, battery, assault, intimidating a witness, criminal threats, or any other similar
offense, call us today for a free consultation.
Our Law Firm understands that Domestic violence and spousal assault affect the lives and
compromise the safety of thousands of people, with tragic, destructive and sometimes fatal results.
Experiencing violence at the hands of an intimate partner or family member can be overwhelming,
frightening and degrading. However, more often false accusations are made for ulterior motives such
as divorce, child custody, revenge and financial reasons. This Santa Clarita Law Firm is committed to
protecting the rights of persons falsely accused of criminal charges.