In California, if the police are called on suspicion that even the smallest instance of domestic violence has occurred, someone is going to jail.
Local law enforcement agencies are quick to arrest anyone who they think is the aggressor in a physical altercation between domestic partners.
However, being arrested for domestic violence will only be the beginning of your problems.
Your arrest may lead to a criminal charge, which will have a severe impact on your future, whether you are arrested for a felony or a misdemeanor. The state can even take your children away from you. Additionally, a restraining order may be placed on you, which may prevent you from returning home, even if you are actually the victim.
This is why it is extremely important to contact an experienced domestic violence defense attorney as soon as you are released from jail in Orange County.
Our team, The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian, has extensive experience in defending domestic violence cases. We will do everything possible to ensure that a momentary error of judgment or a misunderstanding does not have long-lasting consequences.
The strict domestic violence laws in California protect intimate partners from harm and threats of violence.
There are two main sections of the penal code that provide the District Attorney ability to prosecute intimate partners for domestic violence offenses. Those sections are as follows:
Penal Code 273.5: Inflicting corporal injury on an intimate partner
California Penal Code 273.5, referred to as Domestic Violence or Corporal Injury to a Spouse, makes it a crime to willfully inflict injury on an intimate partner, such as:
- A spouse or former spouse
- A fiancé or fiancée
- A current or former girlfriend or boyfriend
- A cohabitant, or
- A person with whom you have a child
To be convicted for domestic violence under Penal Code 273.5, the prosecution will need to prove three things:
- You willfully committed the offense on a past or present spouse, fiancé, girlfriend/boyfriend or a cohabitant or person with whom you have a child
- The victim suffered a traumatic condition
- You were not acting in self-defense
A “traumatic condition” can include even minor injuries including a scratch, swelling, a black eye, severe laceration, or broken bone.
A serious injury does not need to occur for charges to be filed. Moreover, the offense may be charged as a felony or misdemeanor (commonly known as a “wobbler”).
Penal Code 243(e)(1): Domestic battery
The main difference between Penal Code 273.5 and Penal Code 243(e)(1) (domestic battery) is that no physical injury is required in order for charges to be filed under Penal Code 243(e)(1).
Inflicting force or violence on an intimate partner without a physical injury can result in a misdemeanor charge.