In addition to actual physical violence, domestic violence can also take the form of threats and intimidation. It is against the law to make threats to commit a crime that would, if acted upon, result in another person's great bodily injury or death. A person can be charged with the offense of making a criminal threat even if he or she does not actually plan to act upon it. This type of threat can be made verbally, in writing or even through electronic means.

In order for the alleged offender's statement to be deemed a criminal threat, it must be specific. Furthermore, it must have reasonably caused the victim to fear for his or her safety, or for the safety of his or her immediate family. Upon conviction, this offense of making criminal threats is punishable by up to a year in jail, or by a prison term. When one person threatens to harm his or her current or former romantic partner, family member or household member, the offense becomes a matter of domestic violence and could potentially leader to harsher penalties. Threats can be a form of intimidation, as can other actions that place a victim in fear for his or her safety, such as stalking.

At the Law Office of Frances Prizzia, our Orange County domestic violence lawyer is here to help individuals who have been accused of threatening and intimidating others with whom they share a domestic relationship. If you are facing these types of allegations, we advise you to bring your criminal matter to our firm immediately.


When someone is accused of threatening or intimidating another person in a way that causes that individual fear of harm, the alleged offender could become subject to a restraining order. When a restraining order is issued, the alleged offender is prohibited from contacting or coming near the alleged victim. This could potentially disrupt the alleged offender's living situations, his or her work or travel routine, and even the ability to be around his or her children. If the restraining order is violated, the alleged offender can face certain criminal repercussions.


When a person is arrested and charged for allegedly making threats to harm another person, that individual can end up with a conviction that will result in harmful penalties. Our law firm can help you present your side of the story before the judge so that you can a have a fair chance at protecting your freedom.

Contact our firm today to schedule a free case consultation with our competent Newport Beach domestic violence attorney! We handle cases throughout Southern California.

Spousal Abuse


Spousal abuse is any action, threatening behavior, or verbal instigation aimed at harming a spouse. Abuse of this nature is prosecuted heavily due to the potentially violent nature of this crime. Consequences for a spousal abuse conviction can include prison time, fines, and a restraining order among other punishments.

A conviction can also land you with a criminal record, which will make finding a job, advancing your career, and being approved for housing or loans exceedingly difficult. No matter what the circumstances of your situation may be, it is absolutely essential to secure the representation of an Orange County domestic violence attorney to protect yourself from the damaging effects of a spousal abuse accusation.


While in most cases abuse of this nature is usually directed towards the female spouse, men can also be the targets of abuse. While spousal abuse is a violent crime charge, it is not limited to physical violence. Oftentimes a spouse will suffer through persistent verbal and emotional abuse unaware that legal action can be taken to end the cycle of abuse.

On the other hand, spouses can also use accusations of this nature as a means to accomplish one of the following:
  • Start the divorce process
  • Ensure a favorable divorce agreement
  • Secure custody of a child

No matter what the circumstances of your situation may be, a qualified and talented defense attorney can defend you against the negative repercussions of a spousal abuse accusation.


Searching for an attorney for spousal abuse in Orange County? When defending yourself in a spousal abuse case, it is very important to hire an attorney who will stand beside you and aggressively uphold your side of the story. At the Law Office of Frances Prizzia, we are dedicated to helping our clients get through these difficult times without unnecessary suffering and heartache. We strongly believe that every individual has the right to a fair and unbiased trial.

Abuse cases of this nature often hinge on the testimonies of all those involved. With strong legal representation by your side, you do not have to fear unfair treatment or a biased leaning towards the accuser.



Looking for a lawyer for your stalking case in Orange County? A person charged with stalking can be in serious trouble. Stalking can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony and can lead to jail or prison time in a conviction. Stalking occurs when one crosses the line in a certain way that may be termed inappropriate. Your intentions may not be to harm the other person but the thin line between appropriate behavior and inappropriate behavior seems to diminish.

If the other person feels intimidated and feels like you may cause them harm they could file for a restraining order against you. If you have been investigated or arrested or charged with stalking you need to speak to an Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately.


With each additional charge of stalking you may be putting yourself in a difficult position in terms of the law. The circumstances surrounding your situation determine how serious your punishment is going to be. Hiring a lawyer early on in the process can help and protect you immensely. There are numerous charges associated with stalking, including following, harassing and threatening. Each with its own set of consequences.

*The maximum penalty for stalking is a five year prison sentence and the possibility of registering as a sex offender in California.

Causing bodily harm or threatening to kidnap or injure someone can additionally affect the severity of the punishment awarded. When the court decides that someone is being stalked, restraining orders may be issued to keep the stalker away.


Charged with stalking in Orange County, CA? The Law Office of Frances Prizzia will handle your case with great compassion. Regardless of the fact that you are being accused you still have certain rights. Our firm is dedicated to fighting on your behalf to protect you rights and your future. Your intentions may not have been to harm the other person, or you may have never committed the act at all.

You may not have realized when you crossed the line and landed yourself in this situation. We understand your position and believe you. We will do whatever it takes to get you out of this situation with minimum or no damage to your reputation. It is very important that you contact us early on to get best results.

Contact an Orange County stalking attorney if you have been accused of a stalking related offense.

Restraining Orders


Have you been issued a restraining order in Irvine? A restraining order is issued by the court of law, usually when someone feels intimidated by another person, believing that person can cause them harm. These orders are often associated with violent crimes charges, and can take away visiting and communication rights from the person who has been issued the restraining order. A well-planned defense is your best hope against a restraining order.

Domestic violence is the number one reason restraining orders are issued. A restraining order forbids the person accused of violence from visiting the victim or contacting them at home, at his or her workplace, or elsewhere. If you or a loved one has been issued a restraining order in Orange County, you need to speak with our criminal defense attorney for the best chance of clearing your name.


Being issued a restraining order can lead to severe complications in your personal life. A restraining order may be issued by a person seeking revenge. By falsely accusing the other person, they may attempt to take away their visitation rights. Restraining orders can destroy relationships, especially if children are involved.

Once served with such an order you may not be able to get in touch with your child if your spouse has lodged the complaint resulting in the restraining order. A situation such as this usually arises when divorce is being considered and the children are under the spouse's custody.


If you have been issued restraining orders, the most important thing you can do is avoid violating your orders at all cost. This can help strengthen your defense in the long run and, of course, protect you from the consequences of a violation. If you do happen to violate your orders, you may face anything from fines to jail time.

Common penalties for violating restraining orders include:
  • A minimum of $1,000 in fines
  • Jail time of 1 year (for a misdemeanor violation)
  • Prison time totaling 2-3 years (for a felony violation)
  • Loss of access to firearms
  • Loss of custody

Even if you have been issued a restraining order because of a false accusation, you should never assume that you are out of the woods until a decision has been reached by the court. This is the best way you can contribute to your own defense and improve the odds of a successful hearing. Contact an attorney from our Irvine office to learn more about your options after being issued a restraining order.


At the Law Office of Frances Prizzia, you can be assured that you are in safe hands. Attorney Frances Prizzia is a compassionate lawyer who can defend you aggressively. She gives each and every case equal importance and attention. We know and understand your situation and can assure you that you will not be disappointed by our services. We will negotiate as much as possible, fighting for your rights from the moment we take on your case.

Contact an Orange County criminal defense lawyer if you're having trouble with a restraining order.



Kidnapping is punished harshly as it represents a threat to the safety of our children and ourselves. Law enforcement officials, prosecutors, judges, and the general public do not look favorably or leniently on an individual accused of kidnapping someone. With this in mind, it is very important that you seek out dedicated legal representation if you stand accused of kidnapping.

An Orange County criminal defense attorney can stand by your side throughout the legal process, working to minimize the damage of these charges in your personal and professional life. Our approach to criminal defense focuses on close interaction with each client, ensuring that we can build a defense that suits their needs. As a result of this service, we have been listed among the National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Lawyers and given an Avvo Rating of 10.0 Superb. You can trust us to handle your violent crimes charges with sensitivity and professionalism.

Call us today to receive your free case evaluation!


Another aspect of kidnapping or abduction law pertains to the notion of false imprisonment. False imprisonment entails handling another individual against his or her will. Examples of false imprisonment include refusing to allow an individual out of your car when requested, taking a hostage for leverage in a given situation, and not allowing someone to exit a room or building. Kidnapping or false imprisonment charges when related to domestic violence or abuse take of an escalated form.

Individuals convicted of kidnapping in these instances can face the following penalties:

Having a kidnapping charge on your criminal record will make it exceedingly difficult to find gainful employment, advance your career, and be approved for housing and financing. With so much at stake, you cannot afford to face your charges without an experienced kidnapping lawyer at your side. Call our firm as soon as possible to assess your charges with a professional and begin building a strong defense.


At the Law Office of Frances Prizzia we take kidnapping charges very seriously, as these charges can have a disastrous impact on your life. As dedicated trial attorneys, we will investigate your situation thoroughly and build a winning case through intensive law research and proven strategies. We are passionate about our cases and loyal to our clients. We are true believers in every individual's right to a fair and unbiased trial.

Contact an Orange County kidnapping attorney if you face kidnapping charges.

Child Abuse


Accusations of child abuse are not taken lightly in the court of law. When dealing with an individual accused of child abuse, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges can be unforgiving and biased. Because of this significant bias against individuals accused of abusing a child, it is absolutely essential to seek out exceptionally capable legal representation should you be accused of this crime.

Are you looking for an attorney for a child abuse case in Newport Beach? No matter what the circumstances, if you stand accused of child abuse in any form, then you should hire an Orange County criminal defense attorney immediately.


When most people think of child abuse they picture black eyes and bruises. They do not always realize that abuse can come in many, more subtle forms. One prominent form of child abuse that most people do not associate with the crime is negligence. Child neglect can be just as harmful to a child as verbal abuse.

Individuals are oftentimes falsely accused of emotionally abusive behavior such as:
  • Negligence
  • Excessive criticism
  • Threatening language

Because these forms of abuse do not leave visible signs of abuse such as cuts or bruises, the prosecution will rely heavily on witness or character testimonies to secure a conviction. Children can also be susceptible to manipulation and suggestion, recalling false memories under the insistence of a psychologist of prosecuting attorney. A good defense attorney will be able to protect you from these unfair strategies.

Need an attorney for a child abuse case in Orange County? Call the Law Office of Frances Prizzia: (714) 362-0157.


At the Law Office of Frances Prizzia, we know that the circumstances surrounding a child abuse accusation can be incredibly complicated. We will work closely with you to understand the true nature of these charges. When defending against witness testimony, facts and verifiable information are of immense importance.

Our firm has an investigator on staff to ensure that your case is given the scrutiny it deserves. With our firm you can count on compassionate treatment and aggressive representation. We serve Orange County cities including Newport Beach and Irvine, as well as Los Angeles, San Diego, and Ventura.

Contact an Orange County child abuse attorney to help defend against accusations of child abuse.

Domestic Violence


Domestic violence occurs when an individual uses physical force, or makes threats of physical harm such as in assault and battery against a spouse, family member, or a person who is involved in an intimate relationship with the offender. There are many different specific acts that can be categorized as domestic violence, including sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse in the form of intimidation, and others. These types of crimes are perceived as taboo and are aggressively pursued by prosecutors in California. Because of this, it is an urgent matter to enlist the assistance of an Orange County criminal defense attorney.

Why Call the Law Office of Frances Prizzia?
  • Our Attorney Has Been Named to the National Trial Lawyers: Top 100,
  • Is Backed by a Track Record of Not Guilty Verdicts
  • Has Received a Perfect Avvo rating of 10.0 Superb in Criminal Defense, and
  • Offers a Free Consultation to Hear Your Side of the Story

Attorney Prizzia can be trusted represent clients with the utmost in legal prowess. Don't hesitate to discover how an award-winning advocate can help you protect your rights, your reputation, and your future.

Contact us today at (714) 362-0157 to ensure that you receive fair treatment throughout your case. Our domestic violence attorneys are fluent in English and Tagalog.


Looking for an attorney for a domestic violence case in Orange County? These types of claims often require extensive investigation by law enforcement officials, but we will do thorough investigative research of our own to ensure that the police are following proper protocol and not violating your legal rights in any way.

We offer superior legal services for anyone charged with the following domestic violence infractions:

Our firm also provides aggressive defense for clients facing restraining orders. If you or a loved one is being investigated for any of these crimes then it is imperative that you obtain aggressive representation and begin formulating a proactive defense strategy. Frances Prizzia is also fluent in Tagalog, so be sure to call today!


The penalties for domestic violence in California can vary depending on the specific act, details about the victim such as age, severity of injuries sustained by the victim, and the criminal record of the offender to name a few. Even the lightest convictions can impose a minimum 30 days in jail, and largely require mandatory attendance of domestic violence prevention courses. Beyond the criminal court, this type of crime can have lasting consequences in terms of finding employment or acquiring other benefits and advantages.

For a domestic violence misdemeanor charge:
  • 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling
  • 40 hours of community Service
  • No contact order/restraining order with the victim
  • Steep fines
  • Maximum of 6 months in county/city jail
For a domestic violence felony charge
  • 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling
  • 40 hours of community service
  • No contact order/restraining order with the victim
  • Steep fines
  • 3 months - 3 years in state/federal prison


Searching for a domestic violence lawyer in Orange County who can defend you? The Law Office of Frances Prizzia understands how difficult it can be to present a defense in the face of domestic violence charges. Our Orange County domestic violence lawyer is familiar with defending against false accusations of domestic violence, and can build a solid defense based on the facts surrounding the event, not just the word of an alleged victim who may or may not be telling the truth. We will work hard to identify every possibility for success, and will design a strategy that focuses on either minimizing your level of penalty, or eliminating the charges entirely. Take the first step towards a brighter future!

Contact our Orange County domestic violence lawyer if you have been accused: Call (714) 362-0157. Start preparing your defense as soon as possible.