California Penal Code 273.5 PC and/or PC 243 are sometimes referred to as domestic violence, domestic abuse, corporal injury, spousal abuse or spousal battery. Charges often stem from he-said/she-said allegations and arise out of highly charged, emotional situations. Many innocent people get falsely accused of this serious offense.

For the charge of Domestic Violence (PC273.5 and/or PC243) the district attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:

1. That you inflicted corporal (bodily) injury upon (a) your current or former spouse, (b) your current or former cohabitant (that is, someone with whom you share or shared a residence), or (c) the mother or father of your child,

2. That you willfully inflicted the injury, and

3. That the injury resulted in a “traumatic condition.”


There are several possible defenses to Domestic Violence, but some of the main ones are:

1. Self defense: Allegations of domestic violence or spousal abuse can be very difficult for the district attorney to prove. Many times, the Penal Code 273.5/243 PC charge arose out of a mutual struggle in which the defendant’s actions are excusable under California’s rules of self defense.

2. Accident: In the course of a heated argument and struggle, it is not uncommon to strike someone or push someone by accident. A true accident serves as a legal defense to most California crimes, including domestic violence crimes.

3. False allegations: Unfortunately, false accusations and wrongful arrests occur regularly in the California Penal Code 273.5/243 context. Since domestic disputes usually arise out of very emotional situations, people often don’t think clearly and are sometimes just looking to gain the upper-hand.


A Penal Code 273.5 conviction is serious and can involve fines, jail or prison time, and court-ordered counseling. Infliction of a corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant is a “wobbler.” This means that prosecutors can choose to file it as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Penal Code 243(e)(1) domestic battery is always a misdemeanor. If you get convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence under Penal Code 273.5/243, you face any of all of the following:

-A minimum four years of formal probation.

-Up to a one year sentence to county jail.

-Up to $6,000 in fines.

-Reimbursement to the alleged victim for any medical and/or counseling services he/she reasonably incurred as a result of the offense.

-A protective order that protects the alleged victim from further acts of violence, threats, and a residence exclusion and/or stay-away conditions.

-A restraining order that prohibits you from having any contact with the alleged victim for up to ten years.

-Notice to the victim of disposition of the case.

-Successful completion of at least a year’s worth of batterer’s classes that meet for at least two hours on a weekly basis, any other type of counseling services that the court. determines might be beneficial (substance abuse and/or alcohol educations classes, for example), and completion of a community service program.

-10 year weapons ban and LIFETIME ban under federal law

Immigration Consequences:

Aliens/Immigrants are subject to deportation for committing certain California crimes. A conviction for any California domestic violence crime, including Penal Code 273.5 PC, subjects even legal aliens to deportation. Call my office now to discuss these consequences.

What’s Next:

For more information about your charge and potential penalties and defenses feel free to contact my office and set an appointment to start fighting your charges NOW.