Domestic Violence in California means committing an act of assault or battery against someone who is:
– your spouse or ex-spouse
– fiance or ex- fiance
– cohabitant or ex-cohabitant
– parent of your child- partner in a dating relationship or former partner
Domestic Violence is seen as much more serious than a regular assault or battery charge.
Several sections of the California Penal Code address Domestic Violence. Factors including severity of violence and harm to victim will determine what the defendant will be charged with.
Listed below are the most common DV crimes:
Penal Code 243(e)(1) Domestic Battery
Domestic Battery means touching someone (who is either your spouse, ex-spouse, fiance, ex-fiance, cohabitant, ex-cohabitant, parent of your child, partner in a dating relationship or former partner) in a harmful or offensive way. There need not be any visible injuries on the victim for defendant to be charged. Domestic Battery is a misdemeanor crime.
Penal Code 273.5 Corporal Injury
The PC says that any person who willfully inflicts corporal injury
resulting in a traumatic condition upon a victim (with which they are in one of the relationships specified by the California Penal Code – spouse, ex-spouse, fiance, ex-fiance, cohabitant, ex-cohabitant, parent of your child, partner in a dating relationship or former partner) is guilty of Corporal Injury. Unlike Domestic Battery however, the victim must display a visible injury such as bruising or scarring. Corporal Injury is a wobbler in the state of California – meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The facts of the case as well as the defendants criminal history will determine which they will be charged with.
Domestic Battery is punishable by up to one year in county jail and/or up to $2,000 in fines. You will be placed on probation and typically there is a minimum of 30 days in county jail. It is also likely that the judge will require the defendant to attend a 52 week Domestic Violence Class.
Corporal injury as a misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in county jail and/or up to $6,000 in fines.
Corporal injury as a felony is punishable by imprisonment in state prison for two, three or four years. Depending on the severity of the injury and whether or not the defendant has been convicted of a domestic violence offense in the past, the sentence may be increased.
*It is important to note that these punishments are prescribed by the CA Penal Code but a good attorney can often achieve better results for their clients.
Domestic Violence is an area where we find a lot of people have been wrongly accused, . There are however, a lot of defenses a well qualified attorney can use to fight this charge and keep it off a defendants permanent record.
– Defendant was actually acting in self defense and was not the aggressor
– The defendant did not wilfully mean to harm the other, their actions were really an accident
– Victim falsely accused defendant