California Domestic Violence Penalties
According to California Penal Code, it is illegal to use physical force or threaten to harm an intimate partner. Penalties for violating California domestic violence laws vary depending on the defendant’s previous criminal record and the seriousness of the injuries to a partner. Most counties, though, have a minimum 30-day jail sentence even if the incident is a first-time misdemeanor conviction. In addition, defendants who are convicted of domestic violence are typically required to participate in a 52-week domestic abuser class. The worst part of a domestic violence conviction is the taint the conviction puts on your criminal record that could have negative consequences when you try to gain employment, obtain state licensing, or apply for housing loans.
Legal Defenses to Domestic Violence Charges PC 273.5
There are number of legal defenses to domestic violence charges pursuant to PC 273.5. The most common defenses used in California domestic violence charges include:
- The alleged victim accusing you of domestic violence is lying.
- You acted only in defense of yourself or another;
- The injury or contact was an accident; and/or
- If physical evidence in a California domestic violence case is minimal or the alleged victim has sustained no visible injury, thus the prosecution can prove you are guilty of domestic violence will often depend upon the credibility of the alleged victim’s testimony.
Common California Domestic Violence Charges
- The infliction of a corporal injury on a current or former spouse, cohabitant or parent of your child in violence that causes visible injury, even slight bruising or swelling. (PC 273.5)
- Infliction of battery, violence or force on an intimate partner; this doesn’t require a visible injury. (PC 243 (e) (1).
- Infliction of “corporal punishment or injury” on a child that is “cruel or inhuman” and causes injury. California child abuse law allows parents to spank children, but the spanking cannot be cruel or injure the child. (PC 273d).
- Endangerment of a child in your care or custody; this includes subjecting a child to anything that has the potential to harm the child or, in fact, results in harm to the child. (PC 273a)
- Infliction of physical or emotional abuse, neglect, financial fraud, or endangerment to a person over the age of 65. (PC 368).
- Communication of a threat of serious harm to another to create fear. (CPC 422).
Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, R.J Manuelian has successfully helped clients facing Los Angeles domestic violence defense charges. We invite you to contact our Los Angeles domestic violence attorney for a free consultation at (213) 401-2777. Se habla Espanol.