Domestic Battery Law in California

Domestic Abuse is defined under Sec 243(e)(1) as the crime committed through the willful infliction of force or violence upon a spouse or live-in partner. It is also called domestic assault, domestic violence, spousal battery, spousal abuse and spousal assault.

Under the law, the live-in partner is defined as an intimate partner and covers both hetero and same sex relationships. These include fiancé/fiancée, current or former spouse, live-in partner, a common child’s parent or an individual being dated by the accused.

The slightest amount of force, even any kind of physical touch would be considered as a crime. When there is unlawful physical contact, it would be considered as simple domestic battery. When there is injury resulting from the force inflicted, then the crime becomes aggravated domestic battery.

The misdemeanor offense is called simple domestic battery. When there is an injury resulting from the force applied upon an intimate partner, the following are options that prosecution can undertake:

  • A charge for simple domestic battery under Sec 243(e)(1);
  • A charge for aggravated battery under Sec 243(d);
  • A charge for intentional infliction of corporal injury under Sec 273.5;

To be convicted of the crime, the following facts need to be proven:

  1. There was willful infliction of force or violence;
  2. The victim of the force or violence is the intimate partner of the accused;

Prior acts are admissible as evidence so long as the evidence would help in the determination of the commission of the crime being charged.

For misdemeanor domestic battery, the following are the imposable penalties:

  1. Imprisonment of up to one (1) year in county jail;
  2. Required payment of fines of up to $2,000;
  3. Informal probation of up to three (3) years;
  4. Required attendance in a batterer’s rehabilitation program, including a donation to a battered women’s shelter;
  5. Required reimbursement for the medical expenses and therapy of the victim;

The crime of domestic battery is a serious offense in California. Should you be or know anyone undergoing this process, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.