Domestic Violence Part II

The most common domestic violence charges is a violation of California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1). The prosecutor must prove that the person willfully and unlawfully touched the victim in a harmful and/or offensive manner. A common misconception in domestic violence cases is that there must be an injury or some sort of pain inflicted in order to prove a battery – not true. The threshold for what constitutes a battery isĀ  low. The slightest touching in domestic violence cases can be enough to commit a battery, if it is done in a rude or angry way. If convicted of this misdemeanor charge, the person faces up to a year in county jail.
The second common way domestic violence charges are filed against a person is for inflicting an injury on a victim that results in what’s called a “corporal injury,” or “traumatic condition,” in violation of Penal Code Section 273.5(a). The prosecutor must prove that the person willfully and unlawfully used force on the victim that caused a wound or bodily injury, whether minor or serious. This charge can be filed as a misdemeanor or as a felony. The manner in which a domestic violence case is filed depends on the conduct alleged and the amount of injury sustained by the victim. The sentence range for domestic violence cases varies dramatically on these factors, but can include state prison if the injuries are significant, or if the accused has a prior criminal record, or a prior history of violence towards the victim.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that the prosecutor will “drop the charges” if the victim doesn’t support prosecution. Most often, the victim’s desire to support prosecution will have little bearing on whether or not a case gets filed and prosecuted. Once the police have been called, a police report filed, and allegations made, the prosecutor will likely proceed forward with the case regardless of the victim’s position.

Errol Cook, Esq. (562) 209-1114

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