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Most Common Domestic Violence Charge in California

Most Common Domestic Violence Charge in California

A domestic violence charge is a serious accusation in the state of California, one that comes with severe prison or jail time and/or expensive fines. It could also include a restraining order that could subsequently prevent you from being around your child, spouse, or home. Therefore, understanding and ins and outs of domestic violence charges are imperative if you have been arrested for such a crime. 

What is Domestic Violence Crime?

Before delving further into the topic, it’s important to define a domestic violence crime in the state of California. Domestic violence can consist of threatening, damaging the property of, abandoning, stalking, or inflicting physical injury on the victim. California categorizes domestic violence differently, though, based on the type of crime committed. 

What is the Most Common Domestic Violence Charge in California?

The most common domestic violence charge falls under California Penal Code 273.5. It includes charges related to a corporal injury of an individual who was at some point an intimate partner of the accused. Charges under this penal code can be classified as a felony or a misdemeanor. 

What Factors Constitute a Domestic Violence Arrest?

Various factors can determine who is charged with domestic violence when the police show up, they are:

  • Who is more upset at the time.
  • Who made the 911 call or who called first.
  • Who has signs of physical injury or whose injuries are more severe. 
  • Which gender a person is.

It’s important to note that sometimes abusers use the system to work to their advantage, making it seem as if they are the victim, when in reality they are the perpetrator. 

What is Necessary to Prove Penal Code 273.5?

A DA must prove a person has committed each element of the outlined offense beyond a reasonable doubt to make the charge stick. The elements that must be proven are as follows:

  • A person intentionally or willfully inflicted physical injury on an intimate partner.
  • This injury then caused a traumatic condition for the intimate partner. 

Who is an Intimate Partner Per PC 273.5?

Because the penal code names an intimate partner as one of the statutes of the law, it’s important to define what it means to be an intimate partner in California. An intimate partner is:

  • The offender’s former cohabitant or current cohabitant. 
  • The offender’s former spouse or spouse.
  • The father or mother of the offender’s child.
  • The offender’s fiancee’ or fiance’ or someone with whom there has been a previous dating relationship and/or engagement. 

Possible Legal Defenses for PC 273.5

If you find yourself facing a domestic violence charge in California, you want representation who understands how to fight these charges. Some of the most likely ways to defend this particular charge include:

  • Proving You Didn’t Have Willful Intent: This means proving you didn’t actually mean to harm your partner. It just happened and was more of an accident than willful intent. 
  • Proving You Were Falsely Accused: It isn’t that uncommon for defendants to be falsely accused of domestic violence by angry or spurned intimate partners or spouses. If you didn’t commit the crime you are charged with and your partner was responsible for creating their own wounds, proving you are falsely accused would be your best defense. 
  • Proving It Was Self-Defense: If you only harmed your partner to protect yourself, you can likely argue you were acting in self-defense. 

Bottom Line

Domestic violence charges are serious and demand the very best in terms of legal defense. If you’ve been arrested for domestic violence, contact Premier Criminal Defense at (619) 439-0252 for expert legal representation. 

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