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
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.
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.