California Domestic Violence Laws
The California legislature passed domestic violence laws that went into effect on January 1st, 2000. The new laws do not change the actual crimes of domestic violence but they do change many things that are available to individuals.
The first new law is the biggest one. Under the new law, California police are required to arrest individuals who violate domestic violence restraining orders. This law recognizes the dangerousness of restraining order violations and the casual treatment violates receive from police. There is still not a requirement for District Attorneys to prosecute the violation cases.
The next law expands the coverage of domestic violence cases. Now, cohabitants and former spouses are eligible to file domestic violence cases. Previously, domestic violence statutes applied only to married couples and co-parents of a child. In addition, another law requires police to remove all firearms from the scene of a domestic violence dispute.
A provision now exists to allow for up to $2,000 in housing relocation funds for domestic violence victims. Now, every domestic violence victim in California who reports the crime to the police is eligible for up to $2,000 to cover the costs of relocation.
The power of the district attorney is still not fettered in any way. The district attorney still has the absolute power to decide whether or not to file domestic violence charges, regardless of how much or how convincing the evidence is.