There are a number of charges used to prosecute battery in California, including:
- California Penal Code Section 242: Battery
- California Penal Code Section 243(b) PC & 243(c)(2): Battery On A Peace Or Police Officer
- California Penal Code Section 243(d): Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury
- California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1): Domestic Battery
Many of these charges come with similar penalties, but they are all treated differently under the law. You can learn more about the specific definition and defenses for domestic battery right here from the professionals at the Simmrin Law Group.
The Legal Definition of Domestic Battery
The courts in Los Angeles define domestic battery as touching any of the following individuals in a way that is offensive or harmful:
- A Current or Previous Spouse
- A Current or Previous Fiancé
- A Current or Previous Boyfriend or Girlfriend
- A Current or Previous Cohabitant
- A Co-Parent
Individuals can be charged with domestic battery under PC 243(e)(1) even if they do not injure another person. Any action that can be considered offensive can result in a domestic battery charge.
Note that domestic battery charges do not apply if an individual touches a child in a way that is harmful or offensive. Individuals who are accused of harming a child may be charged with:
- California Penal Code Section 273(a): Child Endangerment
- California Penal Code Section 273(d): Child Abuse / Inflicting Physical Punishment On A Child
Examples of Acts that Represent Domestic Battery in California
Individuals in California can be charged with domestic battery for many reasons. The following examples show some actions that can violate PC 243(e)(1):
A man gets home from work and has a few drinks. His wife gets home later. They get into an argument, and he grabs her arm to shake her. He does not strike her, but he does leave a few bruises. He could face charges for domestic battery.
A couple gets into a fight regarding the planning of their wedding. They both yell at one another. The woman throws a cup and breaks it. The man strikes her with a fist, harming her. Under PC 243(e)(1), he could be prosecuted for domestic battery.
Common Penalties for a Domestic Battery Conviction
A conviction under PC 243(e)(1) can have serious ramifications on a person’s life. Domestic battery is treated as a misdemeanor in California. Individuals who are convicted of domestic battery can face:
- Jail Time: Up to 1 Year
- Fines: Up to $2,000
- Probation: Up to 3 Years
In some cases, a judge may allow individuals to go through a domestic abuse program as a way to avoid some percentage of their jail time.
A domestic battery conviction can have other effects on your life. For example, individuals who have a domestic battery conviction on their record may have difficulty getting spousal support after a divorce. A history of domestic battery can also make it difficult to get custody of children in the event of a divorce.
Defenses Used to Fight Domestic Battery Charges
The broad nature of domestic battery charges can make it hard to build a defense on your own. Individuals may reach out to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles to get help building a solid defense. A professional lawyer could argue:
You Did Not Intend to Harm Anyone
Domestic battery charges should only apply if someone intentionally touches another person in a way that is harmful or offensive. If a touch occurred accidentally, you should not face a domestic battery conviction.
You Were Acting to Defend Yourself
The state of California allows people to act to defend themselves against others. If you fear you are facing bodily harm, you can act to protect yourself by harming another person. Self-defense should not result in a domestic battery charge.
You Were Falsely Accused
Domestic battery charges are often fabricated. Because individuals can be charged with domestic battery even if they do not injure anyone, this charge can be manufactured easily. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to prove that the accusations you are facing are based on lies.
Get the Professional Help You Need to Handle PC 243(e)(1) Accusations
A domestic battery charge can lead to fines and incarceration. A conviction under California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1): Domestic Battery can also make it difficult to get spousal support or custody of your children. Find out how you can get professional help beating these charges by contacting the Simmrin Law Group for a FREE initial case evaluation.
Call (310) 997-4688 or complete our online contact form to get help today.