(Penal Code Section 243(e)(1)
What is Domestic Battery?
In California a battery is defined as “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.” (California Penal Code Section 242) Any domestic violence lawyer in Orange County will tell you that under California law, a battery becomes a crime of domestic violence if the victim is in a special relationship to the defendant. Penal Code Section 243, one of Orange County’s primary domestic violence laws, makes battery a crime of domestic violence if the victim is the spouse, ex-spouse, cohabitant, parent of the defendant’s child, fiancé, fiancée, or in a dating relationship with the defendant.
Punishment For Domestic Battery
While ordinary battery (battery committed on someone not in a special relationship to the defendant) is punishable by up to six months in jail, domestic battery is punishable
by up to one year in the Orange County jail
. Also, domestic violence attorneys in Orange County know that if you are convicted of domestic battery under Penal Code Section 243, you will be required to attend a minimum 52-week batterer’s treatment program at your expense. But perhaps most importantly a conviction for a crime of domestic violence on your record can have far reaching consequences on employment and background checks. If you have a prior conviction under Section 243, then a new conviction will carry mandatory jail time.
If the victim suffered “serious bodily injury” as a result of the domestic battery, the offense becomes a “wobbler”, meaning it can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony and is punishable by up to four years in prison
. Therefore, if the battery resulted in injury you should consult with an Orange County domestic violence lawyer without delay. If the victim did not suffer serious bodily injury the offense is a misdemeanor.
Defenses For Domestic Battery
One common defense used by domestic violence defense lawyers is to show that a
“dating relationship” did not exist under this statute. “Dating relationship”, as used in this statute, is defined as “frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affectional or sexual involvement.” Thus, the DA
must show that the defendant had frequent intimate associations in order to establish that a dating relationship existed.
Free Consultation With A Domestic Violence Attorney In Orange County
To discuss more defenses and defense strategies call The Law Office of EJ Stopyro today at (949) 559-5500 for a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Orange County domestic violence lawyer. Our main office is at 32072 Camino Capistrano, 2nd floor, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675. However, we have meeting offices available in the cities of Orange and Newport Beach.