In California, the charges and potential consequences for domestic violence can range widely. Depending on the severity of the injury, the conduct of the accused, and other circumstances of the case, the prosecution can choose between a number of potential charges.
Section 242 – Defining Battery
Section 242 is the section of the California Penal Code that defines battery. Battery is considered any "willful and unlawful use of force or violence" upon another individual, and is therefore not exclusive to domestic violence cases. With this broad definition, nearly any case will be considered battery under Section 242.
Section 243(e)(1) – Battery in a Familial or Intimate Relationship
Any battery which is committed against a specified family member, or someone with whom the accused has an intimate relationship, can fall under the conditions of Section 243(e)(1). This will include any battery committed against a spouse, cohabitant, parent of the defendant's child, fiancée, or anyone that the accused has or has had a dating relationship with. The penalties of a charge under this section can total a fine of $2,000, and / or imprisonment for a maximum of one year.
Section 243(d) – Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury
When battery is committed against any person, and results in "serious bodily injury," the penalties can include a maximum prison sentence of one year or more depending on certain conditions. This particular section does cover the broader definition of battery, as well as cases which are specifically considered domestic violence.
Section 273.5 – Corporal Injury Resulting in Traumatic Condition
Perhaps the most serious of all domestic violence-related charges falls under Section 273.5, and is considered a felony. This essentially refers to anyone who "willfully inflicts corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition" upon specified victims. The penalties for such a charge can include imprisonment for up to four years and a fine up to $6,000.
These victims include any of the following:
- Spouse or ex-spouse of the offender
- Cohabitant or ex-cohabitant of the offender
- Current or ex-fiancée
- Anyone with whom the offender has a current or previous dating relationship
- The father or mother of the offender's child
Traumatic condition is considered any wound or injury that is caused by physical force. While several examples are given in the penal code, traumatic condition is somewhat subjective in nature and must be proven by the prosecution.
Speak with a Skilled Torrance Domestic Violence Lawyer.
At the Law Offices of Decio Rangel, Jr., we understand the serious impact that domestic violence or battery charges can have on your life. When you retain our firm, we will do everything legally possible to protect your freedom and find a resolution that is in your best interests. Don't take a chance with your future.
For a tough and aggressive advocate, call our Torrance criminal defense attorney today!