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California Penal Code §243(e)

2015-01-15 05.38.38California Penal Code §243(e)

The most common criminal charge associated with Domestic Violence is California Penal Code §243(e) or “domestic battery” – a misdemeanor.  Misdemeanors, by definition, have a one year jail term limit. However, there are ways a sharp defense attorney can keep your exposure to a minimum.

The prosecutor must show that the defendant committed a battery at the time the victim was a spouse, fiance, or someone with whom the defendant has or had a dating relationship with. 

If the alleged victim is injured, or the conduct is considered severe, then the prosecutor may charge you under California Penal Code §273.5, “Corporal Injury on a Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent” – a felony.  Felonies have the potential of a state prison sentence – not just local jail time.  

If the defendant has been keeping track of, or following the alleged victim, and the victim allegedly suffered severe emotional distress, then the prosecutor could charge  California Penal Code §646.9 – “Stalking.” Other possible charges include Assault, Battery, Criminal Threats, and False Imprisonment depending on the facts of the case.

The first issue the Court will address in Domestic Violence cases is usually a criminal restraining order. This order may be a “stay away” order and/or a “move out” order.

The Court may restrict the defendant from anything but “peaceful contact” between the parties. Bay Area Courts have been requiring the parties to attend a class before a “peaceful contact” order can replace a “no contact” order. Domestic violence restraining orders require the defendant to turn in, or sell all firearms for the duration of the orders. (Penal Code §136.2(d))

A conviction with Domestic Violence conditions can include probation, completion of a court-ordered batterer’s treatment program, fines, warrantless search conditions during probation, orders to support dependents, prohibitions against drugs and alcohol, and orders to enroll in a chemical dependency program.

If you have been arrested for any type of domestic violence, it is critical to be represented by an attorney immediately to protect your legal rights, and to help maintain your freedom.  Please call our office at (408) 816-2311 at any time.