A charge of “domestic battery” under California Penal Code § 243 (e)(1) is a misdemeanor. If any person causes unwanted physical contact to an intimate partner that results in injury, charges may be filed under § 243(e)(1). Also, depending on the circumstances, more serious charges may be filed under California Penal Code § 243(d) for aggravated battery, or California Penal Code § 273.5 for intentional infliction of corporal injury. Both these offenses may be charged as felonies depending on other factors such as the extent of the alleged victim’s injuries.
Although not as severe as the penalties under California Penal Code §§ 243(d) and 273.5, the consequences of a “domestic battery” may still be serious. A domestic battery is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than one year, or by both this fine and term of imprisonment.
If probation is granted, or the execution or imposition of the sentence is suspended, an underlying condition is that the defendant participates in, for no less than one year, and successfully complete, a batterer’s treatment program. If a conviction occurs and probation is granted, the conditions of probation may include, in lieu of a fine, that the defendant make payments to a battered women’s shelter, up to a maximum of five thousand dollars ($5,000); and that the defendant reimburse the victim for reasonable costs of counseling and other reasonable expenses that the court finds are the direct result of the defendant’s offense.
Upon conviction of a battery under subsection (e), if probation is granted or the execution or imposition of the sentence is suspended, and the person has been previously convicted of a violation of this subsection (e) or Section 273.5 (corporal injury to a spouse), the offender must be imprisoned for not less than 48 hours in addition to any conditions. However, the court, upon a showing of good cause, may elect not to impose this mandatory minimum imprisonment.
The crimes of assault and battery may still be charged as lesser included offenses if the elements of California Penal Code § 243 (e)(1) cannot be proven. An attempt to strike an intimate partner that fails could still subject the offender to an assault charge. If the prosecutor cannot prove that a victim was an intimate partner but can prove the presence of the willful use of unlawful force or violence upon another person, the offender may still be charged with battery.
As a California Criminal Trial Lawyer with over 40 years of courtroom experience, John Patrick Dolan has handled everything from traffic tickets to death penalty murder cases. Mr. Dolan is a recognized California State Bar Certified Specialist in Criminal Law and a true courtroom veteran of domestic violence defense cases. Call us today at (760) 775-3739 or find out more online here.
|February 5, 2020|