The Napa County District Attorney's Domestic Violence Unit Only Prosecutes Cases of Domestic Violence
The unit generally prosecutes repeat offenders or cases involving severe physical injury to the victim. Once a case is brought into the Unit it is prosecuted by the same Deputy District Attorney through all criminal proceedings. This is known as "vertical prosecution." Vertical prosecution ensures consistency in punishment and policy, greater efficiency of government resources, and most importantly, fosters an individual bond of trust and concern between the victim and the prosecutor.
The Domestic Violence Unit Prosecutes Those Who Have Acted Out Violently
The potential punishment in a misdemeanor case is usually a jail sentence, domestic violence counseling (52 week long program), 40 hours community service, a minimum $200 contribution to the Domestic Violence Victim's fund, and a "stay away" order from the victim or a "No Harm, No Strike" order if the couple is still together. In felony cases, the sentence can be up to several years in state prison.
Information is the Key
The goal is to inform people about the laws that are presently in place, the negative impact of a conviction, and why people stay in these abusive relationships. These goals are attained by going to trial, getting people into counseling and raising the awareness of the community.