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Elements of a Domestic Violence charge under PC 243(e) (1)

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What are the elements of Penal Code 243(e)(1)?


Misdemeanor Domestic Violence charges are one of the most common crimes heard at the San Jose Hall of Justice. California Penal Code 243(e)(1) describes the elements of Domestic Violence, and how the crime is punished.

There are two basic elements:

1. Did the Defendant commit a battery on the alleged victim?

2. At the time of said battery, was the alleged victim the spouse, fiance, or any individual that ever had a dating relationship with the Defendant?

Common defenses for this charge include: the parties never had a dating relationship, no battery was ever committed, the defendant acted in self defense, the victim was actually the aggressor, or the police acted in a way inconsistent with the law.

The punishment for a conviction for PC 243(e)(1) will depend on the severity of the circumstances of the crime. However, the Defendant may not be sentenced to more than one year of jail. Further, any person who has been convicted of PC 243(e)(1) may not own or even possess a firearm within 10 years of the conviction.

If the Defendant is not yet a citizen of the United States, there may be immigration and deportation consequences. Under 18 U.S.C. section 16, a “crime of violence” means an offense that has an element of the use of physical force against the person of another or involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person of another may be used in the course of committing the offense. Also, under 8 U.S.C 1227(a)(2)(E), a non-citizen is deportable if convicted of an offence relating to domestic violence including crimes against children or violations of protective orders.