Domestic Violence Batterers' Intervention Program – Penal Code 1203.097
If convicted on a domestic violence related offense in a Los Angeles criminal court and placed on probation by the court, the judge will order you to complete a 52 week batterers' program known as the Batterers' Intervention Program (BIP). The terms of probation for a domestic violence offense are described under California Penal Code Section 1203.097.
Domestic violence incidents are a serious issue in Los Angeles and can result in severe penalties – including jail time, fines, and years of probation with strict conditions outlined in PC 1203.097. You could also face a criminal protective order and be ordered to complete community service hours.
You might also be ordered to enroll in a drug and alcohol treatment program or even attend anger management classes – and you will lose your gun possession rights after a domestic violence conviction.
In addition to these penalties, however, a time consuming consequence of domestic violence probation is when a judge orders you to enroll and complete the Batterers' Intervention Program.
After a DV conviction, you will be required to enroll in an approved program in Los Angeles County within 30 days. It's a one-year program requiring that you attend a two-hour class once per week – to be successfully completed within 18 months.
Regular attendance in the classes are important because you can't have more than 3 absences, which have to be for a good cause. Further, you will be required to pay program fees – which can be adjusted based on ability to pay.
Obviously, the primary goal of the BIP is to give you a better understanding of the issues that were at the root of your domestic violence incident, and to prevent future abuse. If you don't successfully complete the program, it could result in a violation of probation.
If you have been accused of any type of spousal abuse, contact our Los Angeles domestic violence lawyers to review the details of your case and options.
To give readers useful information about the California Batterers' Intervention Program, our domestic violence lawyers are providing an overview below.
When Is the Batterer's Intervention Program Required?
If convicted of a misdemeanor or felony domestic violence in Los Angeles, you will normally be placed on probation by the judge. Then, the Penal Code 1203.097, batterer's intervention program, will be required as part of probation when if the victim is listed under Family Code 6211, which describes domestic violence abuse against someone who is:
- Current or former spouse
- Somebody your dating or formerly dated
- Somebody you are living with or used you live with
- Somebody who is the parent of your child
If a victim of your domestic violence falls within this list, you are required to be placed on probation for three years – and then the batterer's intervention program is a condition of your probation.
It's should be noted physical abuse or injuries are not required for the court to order the BIP. In some cases, the prosecutor might make an offer of a lesser offense, such as disturbing the peace, under Penal Code Section 415.
However, as part of the agreement in exchange for a reduced charge, you would have to successfully complete the PC 1203.097 batterers' program class.
The Batterer's Intervention Program
This program is typically completed through a California state approved provider – and designed to help convicted defendants of domestic violence identify and change their behavior. First, you will be provided with a list of approved program providers and expected to sign up for the 52-week program yourself.
However, the program is not free – as there are costs for the program – and you will face penalties for missing too many classes – or not completing the entire program.
The domestic violence classes will primarily focus on causes of domestic abuse, victim impact, and needed changes to prevent another incident. The Batterers' Intervention Program is designed to provide education and counseling through class lectures, debates, and individual counseling.
California Penal Code Section 1203.097 describes judgment and execution of the program:
If granted probation for a crime under California Family Code Section 6211, terms of probation include (1) 36 months of probation; (2) criminal protective order to prevent acts of violence, threats, stalking, sexual abuse, harassment; (3) Notice to victim on resolution of case; (4) Booking defendant after sentencing; (5) Paying a fee of $500, but court could waive fee based on ability to pay.
The BIP program meets once a week for a 2-hour class for 18 months. You can only miss 3 classes for good cause. Clearly, you are expected to attend classes sober.
The program has periodic progress reports and a final evaluation and you will have to sign a confidentiality agreement that you can't disclose information learned from the program. You will also be required to show proof of progress letter from the program counselor.
What If I Fail to Complete the Batterers' Intervention Program?
As stated, the BIP is a mandatory condition of domestic violence probation. This means if fail to successfully complete the Batterers' Intervention Program – it's would be considered a probation violation – and you will be facing fines and jail time.
In situations where you don't complete the program or miss too many classes – the program administrator could terminate you – and will send a letter to the court informing them.
Next, the Los Angeles County criminal court judge will issue a probation violation and a bench warrant, and might could even impose additional penalties.
The judge can revoke, modify, or change the order of a suspended sentence if found guilty of violating the terms of probation. In other words, after you violated probation, the judge could decide there is no longer a reason to suspend legal penalties for underlying domestic violence crime – meaning the judge could you to jail time, fines, and other related penalties.
Contact our Domestic Valence Lawyers for Help
If you are convicted of a domestic violence related incident in Los Angeles, you are facing life-altering consequences. You could also be facing a one-year domestic violence Batterers' Intervention Program. If convicted of domestic violence, you might be ordered to pay victim restitution for any losses suffered by a victim due to your conduct.
You should consult with out Los Angeles domestic violence lawyers in order to gain an understanding of potential consequences and legal options. We will review all the details in order to start developing an effective strategy for best possible outcome.
Our law firm serves clients throughout Los Angeles County and the San Fernando Valley. Cron, Israels & Stark is a criminal defense law firm located at 11755 Wilshire Blvd, 15th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90025. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (424) 372-3112.