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Corporal Injury to a Spouse or Cohabitant

Are you facing domestic violence charges in Los Angeles?

Corporal Injury to a spouse is a “wobbler” offense, meaning that it can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor pursuant to California Penal Code Section 273.5. You will be charged under this statute if you are accused of willfully inflicting corporal injury that results in a traumatic condition upon an intimate partner.

Domestic violence charges are very serious, and can have devastating consequences. If police respond to a domestic violence call they will almost always arrest someone on scene. This will often result in criminal charges being filed, and the beginning of a very stressful court process that should not be navigated alone.

If you are facing charges for domestic violence in California, contact former domestic violence prosecutor and experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, Miles Booth, at 424 272 1134.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Miles Booth

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

How does the prosecution prove that I am guilty of California Penal Code Section 273.5?

To be found guilty of Domestic Violence under California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) the prosecutor must prove that you;

  • Willfully inflicted physical injury,
  • On a current or former intimate partner, and
  • The injury resulted in a “traumatic condition”

Willfully

Something is done willfully when it is done intentionally or on purpose.

Intimate Relationship

An intimate relationship includes a:

  • Spouse (current or former)
  • Romantic partner that you live with (or have in the past)
  • Parent of your child
  • Fiancé (current or former), or
  • Dating partner (current or former)

"Traumatic Condition"

A “traumatic condition” is a wound or bodily injury that results from physical force. The severity of the wound or injury does not matter. This factor is what separate corporal injury to a spouse from California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1), domestic battery, which does not require any injury.

How can I defend myself against charges for California Penal Code Section 273.5?

The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office has a “no drop policy” on domestic violence cases, meaning that even if the accuser wants the charges dismissed the District Attorney's Office will still go forward with the case. This means that the best way to defend the case is to attack the evidence in the police report, and develop a thorough mitigation packet that gives the prosecutor a more complete picture of you as a person.

Common legal defenses to a domestic violence charge are that;

  • You acted in self defense
  • The force or violence was not willful
  • You were falsely accused

Additionally, domestic violence cases often do not have any witnesses. This means that if the accuser is unwilling to testify, and fails to respond to the court’s subpoena, the District Attorney may be unable to prove the case at trial, resulting in a dismissal.

Just because you have been accused of corporal injury to a sposie does not mean that you will be convicted. Call Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Miles Booth to discuss how to best defend your case.

What are the Penalties for California Penal Code Section 273.5?

California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) is a “wobbler” offense, meaning that it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. The decision to charge it as a misdemeanor or a felony is up to the prosecutor, and will depend on a number of factors. The two biggest factors in making this decision are your criminal history, and the extent of the injury alleged.

When charged as a misdemeanor a conviction for corporal injury to a spouse may result in up to;

  • one year in county jail,
  • a $2,000 fine, and/or
  • 3 years of misdemeanor probation

When charged as a felony a conviction for corporal injury to a spouse may result in up to;

  • 4 years in California state prison, and/or
  • up to $6,000 in fines

In felony matters a judge may grant 5 years of formal probation in lieu of prison time. Terms of felony probation will also include at minimum, a one year domestic violence batterers intervention program, a criminal protective order (which requires you to stay away from the accuser), additional fines and fees, and a requirement that you back any restitution to the accuser.

Gun Rights

Under AB 3129, a California Penal Code Section 273.5 conviction will result in a lifetime loss of gun rights regardless of whether the conviction is for a felony or misdemeanor.

What happens if the accuser wants to drop the charges?

The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office has a “no drop policy” on domestic violence cases. This means that even if the accuser wants the charges dismissed, the District Attorney's Office will go forward with the case.

It is not uncommon in domestic violence cases for the accuser to change their story, or admit that they lied about the alleged incident. Once charges are filed however, the District Attorney will not drop the charges, regardless of what the victim says.

Miles Booth has successfully tried cases in which the accuser testified under oath that they lied about the original accusation, ultimately resulting in an acquittal.

How do I get a Criminal Protective Order dropped?

The protective order remains in effect for the duration of the criminal case and cannot be “dropped.” However, a skilled attorney may convince the judge to downgrade the initial protective order to a “Peaceful Contact” protective order. A “Peaceful Contact” order allows you to return home, and have peaceful contact with the accused.


Contact Los Angeles domestic violence lawyer miles booth

Facing domestic violence charges can be overwhelming and frightening. Charges alone can have far-reaching consequences. Your housing, future job prospects, and most importantly, immediate freedom are in jeopardy.It is foolish to fight these cases alone. It is important to have a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney by your side.

As a former domestic violence prosecutor Miles Booth understands the complexities of these cases and the blueprints for beating, or substantially mitigating the charges. Miles Booth has successfully handled thousands of cases throughout Los Angeles and will aggressively defend your case to get you the best outcome possible.

To learn more about your options going forward, contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, Miles Booth, for a free consultation at 424 272 1134.

Domestic Violence


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