Criminal Defense

Can a Bad Breakup or Divorce Lead to Criminal Charges?

April 22, 2021 by Alexandra Carter in Criminal Defense  Special Report  
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Can a Bad Breakup or Divorce Lead to Criminal Charges?

We all know that breakups can get ugly. But what about breakups that get so nasty they lead to criminal charges? In these instances, the crime is usually what’s known as a “crime of passion” that the person regrets immediately after.

Whether you regret what you’ve done or not, Los Angeles court systems and prosecutors take these cases very seriously. That’s why it’s so vital that you find a skilled criminal defense attorney to help guide you through the process and help you secure a favorable outcome if you are facing charges for any of the following:


When a relationship starts to crumble, anxieties may peak, causing you to feel like you need to speak to the other person. If they don’t pick up, emotions run high, and you may call over and over again. Even if you didn’t mean any harm, this could still be seen as harassment. Especially if you continue to call over and over again for months on end— those calls will add up and sound excessive when read out loud.

California Penal Code 653(m) forbids calls, texts, or any electronic messages that are intended to annoy someone. You can be charged with harassment if the contact is obscene, threatening, or repeated. Even if you are sending messages declaring how much you love your partner, if you send 650 messages of any kind, it’s going to be considered annoying.


If you show up after work at your ex’s place a few times because you need your stuff back and they aren’t answering their phone or door, don’t worry. California Penal Code 646.9 states that for stalking to be criminal, the behavior must contain a credible threat and that behavior deemed annoying and unwanted does not warrant stalking in the Golden State. But, if you show up more than a couple of times or any of your actions could “imply” a threat, you may find yourself in hot water. Only two separate contacts are required in California for a stalking charge. Just one of the events has to feature a threat. So, what you may think of as a grand gesture to win your lover back may be considered a threat by the courts.

Stalking can be charged as a felony and does not require battery or physical injury or any restraining orders to be issued or violated. If a judge or prosecutor hears only one side of the story, it’s likely they will file criminal charges. But, if you seek the expertise of a defense attorney, you may have the chance to have your side of your innocent breakup behaviors heard.

Attempted Murder

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the breakup, things can escalate to a deadly level. The classic example of this is someone walking in on their partner in bed with another person. They grab their gun and shoot the third party. In these instances, a criminal defense attorney will work to get your charge reduced from murder to voluntary manslaughter.

False Allegations of Abuse and Other Crimes

Sometimes after a breakup, someone will make fake allegations of abuse against their partner or try to frame them for a crime in an attempt to seek revenge. If false allegations are being lodged against you or your ex is attempting to frame you for a crime you did not commit, you must seek counsel from an experienced attorney immediately. Your attorney will work with you to gather as much evidence of your innocence as possible from text messages to emails to affidavits from family members, neighbors, and friends. Your attorney will also make sure you are painted in the best light possible and portray a positive image to the judge on the day of the hearing.

As you can tell, defending yourself against false allegations is complicated and requires the experience and skills of a seasoned criminal defense attorney. Don’t attempt to clear your name on your own. Remain silent, hire an attorney, gather evidence, and follow the strategy that your attorney lays out.

Contact a California Domestic Violence Attorney Today!

If you are dealing with the fallout and legal ramifications stemming from a bad breakup, count on the expert team at Esfandi Law Group to help you navigate the complex process. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let’s start building a strong case.

Need a Criminal Defense Attorney? CALL NOW: 310-274-6529

Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Criminal Defense Attorney who has over 20 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases.

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How to Win Your Case

We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:

  1. Don’t ever talk to the police
  2. Do not discuss your case with anyone
  3. Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
  4. Tell police you need to contact your attorney
  5. Never consent to any search by the police
  6. If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
  7. Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
  8. Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
  9. Information on your cell phone is evidence
  10. Early Intervention is the key

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