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Domestic Violence Charges in California

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Domestic Violence Charges

California laws criminalize domestic violence against the following people:

  1. A spouse;

  2. A cohabitant;

  3. A person who is the parent of the defendant’s child;

  4. A former spouse or cohabitant;

  5. A fiancé; or

  6. A person with whom the defendant currently has, or has previously had, a dating or engagement relationship.

Two common charges when prosecuting domestic violence in California are Domestic Battery under Penal Code §243(e)(1) and Infliction of Corporal Injury under Penal Code §273.5.

Domestic Battery: Penal Code §243(e)(1)

Domestic battery is like any other battery committed in California, except that the battery is committed against one of the people listed above.


While domestic battery is still a misdemeanor, the consequences for domestic battery are more severe than simple battery and may include additional terms of probation, if granted.


Below you can find some basic information regarding domestic battery charges in California. You can also visit the dedicated domestic battery page where you can find detailed information regarding domestic battery charges. 

What are the penalties for domestic battery?

If convicted of domestic battery under PC section 243(e)(1) you face:

  • Up to 1 year in jail,

  • Up to a $2,000.00 fine, or

  • Both

There is no minimum jail time for a first-time domestic battery conviction, meaning you may not have to spend any time behind bars for a first-time conviction.


However, if you have previously been convicted of domestic battery or infliction of corporal injury, then the court MUST sentence you to at least 48-hours in jail.

Can you get probation for domestic battery?

A court may also issue probation when a defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty of domestic battery. Pursuant to Penal Code §1203.097, if probation is granted for a conviction of domestic battery, the probation will be for NOT LESS than 36 months.


In other words, if you are granted probation for committing domestic battery, your probation will be for at least 3 years in length.

Additionally, your probation is required to include the following terms:

  1. The defendant is required to complete a 1-year domestic batterers’ treatment program.

  2. Spend 48-hours in jail, if this is your second conviction.

  3. A criminal court protective order protecting the victim from further acts of violence, threats, stalking, sexual abuse, and harassment.

  4. If appropriate, the court may also include a term containing residence exclusion or stay-away conditions. Meaning you may not be able to return to your residence or contact the victim.

  5. A minimum mandatory fee of $500. (Note: this is not considered a fine. It is a fee that must be paid in addition to the fine of up to $2,000.00.)

Infliction of Corporal Injury: Penal Code §273.5

California makes it a crime to “willfully commit corporal injury” on any of the people listed above when it results in a “traumatic condition.” Below you can find some basic information regarding corporal injury charges in California. You can also visit the dedicated corporal injury page where you can find detailed information regarding domestic battery charges. 


A “traumatic condition” means a condition of the body, such as a wound, or external or internal injury caused by a physical force.

Unlike domestic battery, which can only be charged as a misdemeanor, infliction of corporal injury can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

What are the penalties for infliction of corporal injury?

If convicted of misdemeanor corporal injury, you face the following:

  • Up to 1-year in the county jail,

  • Up to a $6,000.00 fine, or

  • Both a fine and imprisonment in the county jail.

If convicted of felony corporal injury, you face:

  • Up to 4-years in the state prison,

  • Up to a $6,000.00 fine,

  • Or both a fine and imprisonment.

*Note: A felony conviction of corporal injury is also considered a “strike” offense in California and will be used to increase the penalty on any future felony conviction.


Moreover, if the court granted a defendant probation for infliction of corporal injury, the court must include the mandatory terms that are listed in penal code section 1203.097 above. 


Get In Touch!

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JPLaw, P.C.

Orange County Law Office

Old Town Orange Office

410 N Clark St.
Orange, CA 92868

Phone: (949) 991-7057

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