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California Penal Code Section 273.5 PC – Corporal Injury to Spouse

California Penal Code Section 273.5 – Corporal Injury to Spouse

California Penal Code Section 273.5 PC makes it unlawful for an individual to cause a physical injury to his wife, girlfriend, spouse, or cohabitant. CPC Section 273.5 is commonly known as domestic violence, domestic battery, domestic abuse, or the spousal abuse criminal statute. An individual can be convicted of violating this section by causing any injury to his spouse or cohabitant regardless of how minor the injury.

The prosecution has the discretion to charge this crime as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Whether it’s charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the seriousness of the injury the defendant allegedly caused. If you have been charged with causing a corporal injury to your spouse or significant other, you should immediately contact Los Angeles Domestic Violence Attorney at The H Law Group to defend you.

We have defended countless individuals charged with domestic violence in Los Angeles and throughout the State of California. 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 273.5 – Corporal Injury to Spouse Criminal Statute

“Any person who willfully inflicts corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition upon a victim described in subdivision (b) is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction, thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of up to six thousand dollars ($6,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.”

This criminal statute shall apply if the victim is or was one or more of the following:

  • The offender’s spouse or former spouse.
  • The offender’s cohabitant or former cohabitant.
  • The offender’s fiancé, or someone with whom the offender has, or previously had, an engagement or dating relationship
  • The mother or father of the offender’s child.”

Proving a Violation of California Penal Code Section 273.5

For the prosecution to convict an individual of violating CPC 273.5, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The defendant acted unlawfully and intentionally,
  • The defendant caused his wife, cohabitant, former spouse, or girlfriend
  • An injury
  • While not acting in self-defense

If the prosecution is able to establish these four elements, the defendant will be convicted of battery in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California. For the purposes of the defendant causing an injury, the defendant can be convicted of domestic violence no matter how minor or insignificant the injury.

Examples of Situations Where the Defendant Can Be Convicted of Violating Section 273.5 PC

For example, if the defendant and his spouse are arguing about his whereabouts and the defendant proceeds to slap his wife, causing her cheek to swell and turn red this injury is sufficient to satisfy the prosecution’s requirement of showing an injury to your spouse.

On the other hand, if the defendant and his wife are having an argument, and the husband gets mad and pushes his wife out of his way to leave his home, not causing her any injuries. If the wife calls 911 and the police arrive, the husband is unlikely to be charged with corporal injury to spouse under CPC 273.5.

However, the prosecution can charge the husband with domestic violence under California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1), because for the purposes of section 243, any touching, no matter how slight, satisfies the physical touching requirement.

Penalties for Domestic Battery Causing an Injury to Your Spouse

If the prosecution convicts an individual of violating Section 273.5, the defendant faces the following potential consequences:

  • Conviction of either a misdemeanor or felony (273.5 is a wobbler, meaning it can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor)
  • Conviction of felony corporal injury can result in a maximum of 4 years in California State Prison
  • Conviction of misdemeanor corporal injury can result in a maximum of 12 months in county jail
  • Conviction of either a felony or a misdemeanor can result in a fine of up to $6000
  • Being place on probation
  • Losing your right to own a firearm
  • Potentially losing your job and/or professional license

Defenses for Violating Section 273.5

There are a variety of defenses that your attorney can use to defend you. The following list is not exhaustive of all the defenses you can use, but rather, some of the defenses that your attorney may use to defend you. Here are some of the defenses available to you:

  • The defendant admits to causing an injury to his spouse but claims that he did so in self-defense or the defense of others
  • The defendant admits to causing his spouse an injury but argues that it was caused as a result of an accident
  • The defendant is falsely being accused of injuring his spouse

Crimes Related to Corporal Injury to Spouse

If you have been charged with causing an injury to your spouse, there are other related criminal charges that might be brought against you. These are the following related crimes:

  • California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) PC – Domestic Violence
  • California Penal Code Section 242 PC – Battery
  • California Penal Code Section 240 PC – Assault
  • California Penal Code Section 243(d) PC – Battery Causing Great Bodily Injury

If you have been charged with domestic violence, you may have also been charged with violating one of the above-listed sections. If you have not, you should be aware of their existence to avoid violating them in the future.

Corporal Injury to Spouse Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with committing corporal injury to a spouse, you should promptly contact an experienced domestic violence attorney at The H Law Group to defend you and keep you from going to jail or prison. Our domestic violence lawyers have handled countless domestic violence cases, and so they have the knowledge and experience to best defend you and achieve the best possible outcome for you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.