Domestic Violence, PC 273.5(a) & 243(e)(1)

What is a domestic violence or domestic battery charge in California?

Domestic violence, also known as a spousal battery or corporate injury to a cohabitant, is abuse or threats of harm to a person with whom the abuser is or has been in an intimate relationship (married or domestic partners, are dating or used to date, life or lived together, or have a child together). It’s also known as corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant. Also, it is when the abused person and the abusive person are closely related by blood or by marriage. Immigration also considers domestic battery as a moral character crime. Immigrants who are not US citizens will face potential immigration consequences for such crimes.

What’s the difference between Penal Code 273.5 and PC 243(e)(1)?

PC 273.5 is a felony wobbler charge. This means it can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor.  When there are visible injuries, it is almost always charged as a felony. PC 243e1 is a misdemeanor where there was a physical battery, but there are no noticeable or detectable injuries.  PC 243e1typically results from simple pushing where no one gets hurt. If someone does not bruise but they have internal injuries, it’ll still be considered a felony PC 273.5 charge.

How is “abuse” defined for domestic violence charges?

Domestic violence laws define “abuse” as:

  • Physically hurting or trying to hurt someone, intentionally or recklessly;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Making someone reasonably afraid that they or someone else are about to be seriously hurt (like threats or promises to harm someone); OR
  • Behavior like harassing, stalking, threatening, or hitting someone; disturbing someone’s peace; or destroying someone’s personal property.

Physical abuse is not just punching or slapping with hands. Abuse can also be kicking, shoving, pushing, pulling hair, throwing things, scaring or following you, or keeping you from freely coming and going. It can even include physical abuse of the family pets.

Does domestic violence have to be physical?

Keep in mind that the abuse in domestic violence does not have to be physical. Abuse can be verbal (spoken), emotional, or psychological. If a child has witnessed one of their parents being physically assaulted, there could be charges for exposing the child to emotional trauma.  Further, you do not have to be physically fit to be abused. Often, abuse takes many forms, and abusers use a combination of tactics to control and have power over the person being abused.  The next step after a spousal battery charge is usually a request for a temporary restraining order (TRO) by the victim.

Restraining Orders in CA:

After a domestic abuse arrest, the police may recommend that the victim get a restraining order.  The restraining order in California usually will be “ex parte” under such situations and that means the victim can go in front of the court to ask that the alleged abuser be kept away.  However, for a permanent restraining order, the person charged has a right to be heard.  You must find an attorney who can represent you in both the spousal battery charges and the restraining order.  Permanent orders can start from one year to three, five or more.

These charges are very serious and you should see us at our office in Garden Grove.  A local Orange County lawyer can better assess your case.  We serve from Garden Grove to Anaheim, Santa Ana, Stanton, and Westminster.  (714) 321-9999

What happens if I’m falsely accused of domestic violence?

The best thing you can do is remain silent and call an attorney. Never argue with the police or it can make matters worse.  Never yell or scream at the accuser or they will seem more credible to the police.  Simply ask to speak to an attorney.

What are the defenses to domestic violence with injuries?

Common Defenses to Abuse with Injuries:

  1. The injuries were an accident.
  2. The defendant did not cause the injuries.
  3. The defendant acted in self-defense or defense of others.
  4. The victim made false accusations.

What is the punishment or penalty for a domestic violence conviction? 

Possible Punishments and Consequences of a Domestic Violence Charge:

  1. Mandatory jail time.
  2. Mandatory classes for domestic violence, up to 52 weeks.
  3. Fines and restitution.
  4. Loss of gun rights.
  5. Restraining order limits your contact and distance to the victim.
  6. Criminal record.
  7. Immigration consequences–domestic violence is considered a crime of moral turpitude which qualifies for deportation/removal, denial of entry, and/or denial of renewals.
  8. Probation (formal or informal).
  9. A temporary restraining order (TRO).
  10. Permanent restraining order.

Is PC 653m considered domestic violence?

Harassment by Electronic Means:

Anyone who annoys or threatens another by using an electronic device or telephone can be charged with a PC 653m. This is usually part of domestic violence type of charges, even if it’s not violence.  It’s more commonly seen in family law matters or co-worker situations.

PC 653m

(a) Every person who, with intent to annoy, telephones or makes contact using an electronic communication device with another and addresses to or about the other person any obscene language or addresses to the other person any threat to inflict injury to the person or property of the person addressed or any member of his or her family, is guilty of a misdemeanor. Nothing in this subdivision shall apply to telephone calls or electronic contacts made in good faith.

(b) Every person who, with intent to annoy or harass, makes repeated telephone calls or makes repeated contact using an electronic communication device, or makes any combination of calls or contact, to another person is, whether or not conversation ensues from making the telephone call or contact using an electronic communication device, guilty of a misdemeanor. Nothing in this subdivision shall apply to telephone calls or electronic contacts made in good faith or during the ordinary course and scope of business.

(c) Any offense committed by use of a telephone may be deemed to have been committed when and where the telephone call or calls were made or received. Any offense committed by use of an electronic communication device or medium, including the Internet, may be deemed to have been committed when and where the electronic communication or communications were originally sent or first viewed by the recipient.

(d) Subdivision (a) or (b) is violated when the person acting with intent to annoy makes a telephone call or contact using an electronic communication device requesting a return call and performs the acts prohibited under subdivision (a) or (b) upon receiving the return call.

(e) Subdivision (a) or (b) is violated when a person knowingly permits any telephone or electronic communication under the person’s control to be used for the purposes prohibited by those subdivisions.

(f) If probation is granted, or the execution or imposition of sentence is suspended, for any person convicted under this section, the court may order as a condition of probation that the person participate in counseling.

(g) For purposes of this section, the term “electronic communication device” includes, but is not limited to, telephones, cellular phones, computers, video recorders, facsimile machines, pagers, personal digital assistants, smartphones, and any other device that transfers signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, or data. “Electronic communication device” also includes, but is not limited to, videophones, TTY/TDD devices, and all other devices used to aid or assist communication to or from deaf or disabled persons. “Electronic communication” has the same meaning as the term defined in Subsection 12 of Section 2510 of Title 18 of the United States Code.

Wais Azami is a domestic violence lawyer in Garden Grove, Orange Count perfectly located in OC to access all courts in Orange County to aggressively defend you against any of the above-mentioned charges of domestic battery (domestic violence, formerly spousal abuse).

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Law Office of Wais Azami (714) 321-9999

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