Sunday, July 22, 2012

Deepening Comprehension Of Domestic Battery In California

Deepening Comprehension Of Domestic Battery In California

Domestic violence in the state of California is referred to by a number of terms. It?s also oftentimes referred to as domestic abuse or domestic battery. Some also call the crime as domestic assault, spousal battery, or spousal abuse. But the crime of domestic violence is actually specific and quite distinct from domestic battery and all the other terms mentioned. We have discussed domestic violence in a previous post so let?s now focus on delineating it from domestic battery.

Now when we talk about domestic battery, the applicable legislation to turn to is California Penal Code PC 243 (e)(1). The crime is committed when you wilfully inflict force or violence on your intimate partner. If you compare this with domestic violence under the provisions of 273.5 PC of the same Code, you will come to see that the scope of the latter when it comes to the persons classified as victims of the crime is more limited. Under the crime of domestic battery, ?intimate partners? do not distinguish between heterosexual or same-sex relationships. The term also embraces even a dating relationship of the parties.

A person commits the crime of domestic battery when he wilfully inflicts force or violence on his said intimate partner. It actually doesn?t matter if the resulting injury is only slight because you can still be prosecuted for simple domestic battery. That?s why it?s highly essential to be aware of the intricacies defining this crime, especially the elements of the same. Note that the crime committed under this provision of the Code is considered as a misdemeanor, hence, the penalties are much lighter as compared with domestic violence and other domestic abuse crimes. Nonetheless, there are also circumstances that can catapult your act from a mere simple domestic battery to an aggravated one.

Hence, in some situations, 243.5 (e)(1) should be read together with Penal Code provision 243 (d) on Aggravated Battery. This provision is known as a ?wobbler? which means that the act you committed can go either way as a misdemeanor or felony depending on several circumstances such as:

  • The injury inflicted on the victim
  • The surrounding circumstances of the act committed
  • The criminal history of the accused

Aggravated battery under the said provision of the Code is not limited to intimate partners but can be filed by an individual against anyone who inflicts ?serious bodily injury? on his person. But when the serious bodily injury is coupled with an intimate relationship between the parties, then the crime becomes an aggravated form of domestic battery. Learn more about the finer details of domestic battery and protect yourself from unjust accusations by consulting with our experienced California criminal defense attorneys today.


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