Under the California Penal Code, domestic violence is defined as a criminal act that takes place against a spouse (or a former spouse), a dating-relationship partner, or any other cohabitant in a home with the acting individual. Domestic violence may also occur along with child abuse.

If you are facing domestic violence charges, it is important to seek out an attorney right away. California attorney Johann Hall has successfully handled many domestic violence cases, and you could benefit from contacting his office today to get started defending your case.

Domestic Violence Charge – Battery

One of the most common criminal charges associated with domestic violence is battery. California Penal Code Section 242 defines battery as a “willful and unlawful use of force or violence against the person of another.” Under Section 243(e)(1) of the California Penal Code, the state further elaborates on a charge of battery and specifically designates the battery charge under this Section as one that is perpetrated against someone in an intimate or family relationship with the individual committing the battery.

Additionally, a prosecutor for the State of California may have the defendant charged with another type of battery charge. This battery charge falls under Section 243(d) of the California Penal code and is applicable in situations where it can be demonstrated that the defendant inflicted serious bodily harm on the victim. Charges filed under Section 243(d) of the California Penal Code are more serious due to the greater severity of harm suffered by the victim.

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Domestic Violence Charge – Infliction of Corporal Injury Causing Traumatic Condition

Another domestic violence charge that a defendant can be charged within the State of California falls under California Penal Code Section 273.5. A crime falling under this section involves the defendant willfully inflicting corporal injury that causes a traumatic condition in the victim. A conviction of this charge is a felony which may result in a punishment of two to four years in state prison, or up to one year of time in a county jail, or a fine of an amount up to six thousand dollars. A judge may sentence a convicted defendant to both imprisonment time and a fine.

A traumatic condition as described in Section 273.5 of the California Penal Code refers to a condition such as a wound or any internal/external injury. These conditions include injuries sustained due to an act of suffocation or strangulation caused by the use of physical force. Strangulation and suffocation are further explained in this section of the California Penal Code to refer to any action caused by the defendant blocking the victim from normal breathing efforts or impeding circulation of the victim’s blood throughout the body due to pressure being applied at the victim’s neck or throat. Generally, a charge under this section requires a visible injury, such as a bruise.

Domestic Violence Charge – Child Abuse, Endangerment, and Neglect

Violent and negligent acts against children also fall within the parameters of domestic violence in California. A person may be charged with child abuse under California Penal Code 273(d), which is a felony. This section punishes actions taken to inflict injury or corporal punishment on a child, however “spankings” are not considered in violation of this section unless or until such “spankings” become unreasonable, excessive, or cause bodily injury.

An individual may be charged with child endangerment under California Penal Code Section 273(a). Child endangerment occurs when a person with a child or children in their care allows the child or children to suffer harm or to in some way allow the child’s safety or health to become endangered. When this occurs and involves a risk to the child of serious bodily harm, the person responsible may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony crime, depending on the facts specific to that case.

Under California Penal Code 270, it is a crime for a parent or other caregiver to willfully fail to provide a child with care. In this section, “care” in this context refers to basic items necessary for the child’s survival, such as shelter, medical care, and food.

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Domestic Violence Charge – Stalking

California’s Penal Code Section 646.9 makes it illegal for someone to threaten or harass another individual to the extent that the behavior causes the victim to be afraid for their safety or the safety of their family. This crime may be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor, and this designation will be based on the defendant’s previous criminal history.

If you have been accused of any of the above domestic violence crimes, it is vital to speak with an experienced attorney right away. Working with a California criminal defense attorney such as Johann Hall can potentially result in a more favorable outcome in your case.

Latest Updates on Domestic Violence Charges in California

Recent changes in California’s legal framework have impacted domestic violence charges significantly. Notably, the enforcement of Penal Code Section 273.5 now imposes stricter penalties for inflicting corporal injury causing a traumatic condition, including imprisonment, fines, or both. Additionally, amendments to Penal Code Section 646.9 have reinforced laws against stalking, emphasizing the severity of threatening or harassing behavior. Given these developments, seeking immediate legal counsel, such as from attorney Johann Hall, is crucial for navigating the complexities of domestic violence cases and ensuring a favorable outcome.