California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) – Domestic Battery

California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) – Domestic Battery makes it a crime for an individual to commit a battery against a person’s spouse, girlfriend, cohabitant, or intimate partner. Any touching of a person’s spouse or intimate partner is sufficient for the prosecution to convict an individual of domestic battery under Section 243(e)(1) PC. This code section is often referred to as the domestic violence or spousal abuse criminal statute.

If you have been charged with domestic battery, you should immediately contact an experienced domestic battery attorney at The H Law Group to defend you. We have handled countless domestic battery cases, and so we have the knowledge and experience to achieve the best possible results for you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.

Text of California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) – Domestic Battery Statute

According to California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1), “When a battery is committed against a spouse, a person with whom the defendant is cohabiting, a person who is the parent of the defendant’s child, former spouse, fiancé, or fiancée, or a person with whom the defendant currently has, or has previously had, a dating or engagement relationship, the battery is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment. If probation is granted, or the execution or imposition of the sentence is suspended, it shall be a condition thereof that the defendant participates in, for no less than one year, and successfully complete, a batterer’s treatment program, as described in Section 1203.097, or if none is available, another appropriate counseling program designated by the court. However, this provision shall not be construed as requiring a city, a county, or a city and county to provide a new program or higher level of service as contemplated by Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.”

Proving an Individual Guilty of Domestic Battery

For the prosecution to convict an individual of domestic battery, the prosecution must prove a number of elements beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution fails to prove any one of these elements, it will not be able to convict the defendant of domestic battery charges. To convict an individual, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The defendant willfully touched the alleged victim in a harmful or offensive way, and
  • The defendant’s victim is the defendant’s spouse, former spouse, girlfriend, cohabitant, girlfriend, or romantic partner

Note: Domestic violence charges can be brought against two romantic partners regardless of their sexual orientation. Just as domestic battery charges can be brought against a husband who hits his wife, charges can be brought against a gay romantic partner who commits a battery against his partner. Also, when it comes to the requirement that the defendant made an offensive or harmful touching to the alleged victim, all that is required is that the defendant touched the alleged victim. The defendant need not cause the victim an injury to be convicted of domestic battery.

Examples of Domestic Battery

A man and his wife have an argument. The man gets upset and decides to leave his home. As he is leaving, he pushes his wife out of the way, causing her no injuries whatsoever. The wife calls the police and the police arrest the man two blocks away from his home. The man can be charged and convicted of committing a domestic battery because all that is required to convict the defendant is showing that the defendant made a harmful or offensive contact, which the defendant did when he pushed his wife out of his way. The prosecution does not need to prove that the defendant injured or hurt the wife, rather, only that the defendant made an offensive touching, which is something that is present in this example.

A man and a wife are having an argument, the man restrains his wife’s hands. The man can be charged with domestic battery.

A lesbian and her girlfriend are having an argument. She grabs her girlfriend’s hair and pulls on it. The lesbian can be charged with and convicted of domestic battery because the law applies to heterosexual and gay romantic partners.

Penalties for Being Convicted of Domestic Battery

If the prosecution convicts an individual of a domestic battery charge under CPC Section 243(e)(1), an individual faces the following potential consequences:

  • Conviction of a misdemeanor
  • Up to twelve months in county jail
  • A fine of up to $2000
  • Completion of a domestic battery education program
  • Placement on three to five years of informal summary probation
  • The potential loss of your right to own a firearm
  • The potential loss of your job and/or professional license

Note: These penalties are some of the most common penalties that individuals who are convicted of domestic battery face. The court is free to impose additional punishments as it sees fit.

Domestic Battery Defenses

If you have been charged with domestic battery, there are a number of defenses that your domestic battery defense attorney can use to defend you. The following list of defenses is not a complete list of all defenses that your attorney can use. Rather, this list is some of the most commonly used defenses. To know which ones apply to your case, you should consult with an experienced domestic battery defense attorney at The H Law Group to go over your case and determine the applicable defenses. Here are some of the most commonly used defenses:

  • The defendant acted in self-defense
  • The defendant is being falsely accused of domestic battery
  • The defendant did not touch the alleged victim
  • The defendant accidentally touched the alleged victim

Offenses Related to Domestic Battery

Here are some offenses that are related to domestic battery and can be charged on their own or in conjunction with a charge of domestic battery:

  • Corporal Injury of Spouse – California Penal Code Section 273.5 PC
  • Assault – California Penal Code Section 240 PC
  • Battery – California Penal Code Section 242 PC
  • Battery Causing Serious Injury – California Penal Code Section 243(d) PC

Contact an Experienced Domestic Battery Attorney

If you have been charged with domestic battery in Los Angeles or elsewhere in the State of California, you should immediately contact an experienced domestic battery attorney at The H Law Group to defend you and keep you from going to jail for a long time. Our attorneys have handled countless domestic battery and domestic violence cases, so they have the knowledge and experience necessary to achieve the best possible results for you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.

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