When it comes to domestic violence crimes in California, there are three types of charges possible, with “domestic battery” being the least serious of them all. The three possible charges include Simple Domestic Battery: Penal Code Section 243(e), Aggravated Battery: Penal Code Section 243(d) and Willful Infliction of Emotional Corporal Injury: Penal Code Section 273.5. Understanding what factors go into each type of charge can help a defendant take the right actions. Defendant’s should also hire an experienced Orange County domestic battery lawyer to help with his or her case.

Simple Domestic Battery

According to California Penal Code Section 243(e), Simple Domestic Battery is essentially “battery” that one commits against a person with whom they have an intimate relationship. However, many people do not realize how many people in their past or present fall into the category of “intimate partner”. The following is a list of potentially “intimate” relationships often considered in a domestic battery case:

  • Defendant’s fiancé
  • Defendant’s former spouse
  • Defendant’s former cohabitant
  • Mother or father of defendant’s child
  • Defendant’s current or past dating or engagement relationship

Aggravated Battery

Anytime a crime is committed that results in serious bodily injury to the victim, it is considered “aggravated battery.” Unlike domestic battery, aggravated battery is not limited to those in an intimate relationship with the defendant. As a more serious charge, if convicted, a defendant can find himself or herself facing imprisonment for up to four years. That is why it is important to have a skilled Orange County attorney on your side anytime you are facing domestic battery charges.

Willful Infliction of Emotional Corporal Injury

A serious offense, Willful Infliction of Emotional Corporal Injury is committed when a defendant’s intimate partner suffers an injury that results in a traumatic condition due to the defendant willfully inflicting physical injury on the accuser. A significant difference between this type of charge and that of Simple Domestic Violence is that the term “intimate partner” is limited to the following:

  • Defendant’s former spouse
  • Defendant’s former or current cohabitant
  • Mother or father of the defendant’s child

Proving Domestic Battery

In any domestic battery case, the responsibility of proving the case rests on the shoulders of the prosecutor. Not only does a lawyer for the prosecution have to prove that the defendant willfully and unlawfully touched the accuser in a harmful or offensive manner, but also they must prove that the accuser’s relationship to the defendant is one of the following:

  • Former spouse
  • Former fiancé
  • Current fiancé
  • Former cohabitant
  • Current or past dating relationship
  • Mother or father of the defendant’s child

What Is My Defense?

In many of these cases, the defendant acted in self-defense or in defense of another individual. If you are in this situation, a lawyer in the area can help the judge hearing your domestic battery case see that you or another person were at risk of suffering great bodily injury unless you found a way to defend yourself or the other person. It is important to note that the force used in your defense must not exceed the amount of the threatened force against you. You also cannot continue to exert force once the threat subsides.

Keep in mind that any “accident” that involves the battering of another person with no intent of force or willful infliction is not domestic battery. In fact, in such a case, a prosecutor cannot prove the willful application of force, which means that you cannot be found guilty of domestic battery.

Potential Penalties in Orange County

Pursuant to California Penal Code Section (e) (1), you may face the following penalties if convicted:

  • A maximum fine of $2,000
  • A maximum of one year in county jail
  • Informal probation for up to three years

If the court decides that probation is a suitable punishment in your case, you must successfully complete a batterer’s program for no less than one year. If this is not your first offense, and you have a prior conviction on your criminal record for the same charge, you will be ordered to serve a minimum sentence of 48 hours in county jail.

Call an Orange County Domestic Battery Attorney

If you are facing these charges, contact our Orange County domestic battery lawyers. We defend people accused of domestic violence. We do not represent the victims. Let us show you how we can be your trusted criminal defense resource anytime you need reliable representation your side.

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