California Penal Code §633.6 Changes Domestic Violence Laws

California Penal Code §633.6 Changes Domestic Violence Laws

In a domestic violence case, the victim has the difficult task of proving they have been abused by a family member or close acquaintance, such as an abusive spouse. This is all the more challenging for cases in which the domestic abuse is nonphysical, such as emotional, financial, or some forms of sexual abuse. The most convincing evidence often comes in the form of video or audio recordings, but California’s laws prohibits the recording of a person in a private or confidential setting without their permission. This law has always been in conflict with domestic abuse survivors and their cases, until a recent legal update.

California Penal Code – Penal Code §633.6 is a new statute that has been enacted to allow domestic abuse victims to collect and use voice and video evidence in their cases. In short, it permits them to make recordings of abusers in private settings if they believe the recording can be of use in a subsequent Restraining Order Application or criminal prosecution.

The legal language used in California Penal Code §633.6 is:

  • (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, and in accordance with federal law, upon the request of a victim of domestic violence who is seeking a domestic violence restraining order, a judge issuing the order may include a provision in the order that permits the victim to record any prohibited communication made to him or her by the perpetrator.
  • (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, and in accordance with federal law, a victim of domestic violence who is seeking a domestic violence restraining order from a court, and who reasonably believes that a confidential communication made to him or her by the perpetrator may contain evidence germane to that restraining order, may record that communication for the exclusive purpose and use of providing that evidence to the court.
  • (c) The Judicial Council shall amend its domestic violence prevention application and order forms to incorporate the provisions of this section.

This legal update has come as a welcome advantage to domestic abuse victims throughout California. Obtaining a restraining order is usually the first step towards a safer tomorrow free from the harm caused by an abusive spouse, family member, roommate, and so forth. The easier it is to prove abuse occurred, the easier it is to be granted protection from future abuse.

At Castellanos & Associates, APLC, we proudly provide comprehensive and compassionate legal advocacy to domestic abuse survivors who need to file for a restraining order for themselves or a loved one. If you need protection through a separate request for a Restraining Order or as a result of an ongoing divorce, we never back down from a case when there is so much on the line. Everything we do will be in pursuit of your safety and best interests.

Get a skilled team of Los Angeles domestic violence attorneys on your side now. Call (323) 212-5599 or contact us online for a FREE consultation.

Categories: