In California, there is one misdemeanor domestic violence offense that is more commonly issued more than any other: California Penal Code 243(e)(1).
Penal Code 243 is usually issued for instances of spousal battery in which the defendant willfully inflicts force or violence upon their intimate partner. An intimate partnership can be between homosexuals or heterosexuals, both instances being treated the same under California law.
Unlike other domestic violence penal code offenses, this domestic battery charge is always a misdemeanor. Widely considered the least serious of California’s three domestic abuse penal codes, a conviction for 243a pc can be obtained even if the defendant did not physically injure the victim.
If an injury does occur, the state may pursue additional PC violations against the defendant including PC 243 (d) and PC 273.5, both of which can result in more serious penalties.
To obtain a conviction for violating PC 243e1, state prosecutors must be prepared to provide sufficient evidence that you willfully inflicted violence or force upon your intimate partner. The terms and definitions of willful infliction, violence or force, as well as intimate partner are crucial aspects of any domestic battery charges.
Some people believe that to willfully inflict anything upon another person that they must have intended to cause an injury and violate California law, but this is not always the case.
There are instances where an argument between two people spirals out of control and one of the persons involved accidentally injures the other even though their action was intended, such as kicking an object that hits the other person. Although kicking the object was the intended action, having the object hit and/or injure the other person was an accident.
Violence or force is sometimes confused with an action that produces bodily harm. If you were to push your intimate partner, your forceful action could be considered spousal battery.
Several different types of relationships can constitute an intimate partner including:
Establishing that an action you took was performed upon your intimate partner is determined based upon whether or not you made contact with your intimate partner’s body, clothing, or something that was connected to him or her in some way.
A conviction on your record for violating 243e PC can result in a misdemeanor offense as well as up to one year in jail, a $2,000 fine, and informal probation for up to three years.
In addition, the court may require you to complete a batterer’s program as well as pay money to women’s shelters and the alleged victim for legal costs, therapy, and other expenses arising from your alleged incident.
No matter what your circumstance, there are possible defense strategies that you could use to help prevent a conviction.
No two cases are the same, and those who are attempting to have their case dismissed or obtain a not guilty verdict are encouraged to contact a skilled California domestic violence attorney for further guidance.
Domestic violence law is complicated and may require an experienced legal professional to properly evaluate your situation.
The following are defense strategies commonly used by those facing penal code 243(e)(1) charges:
Every case is different. The right defense in one case might be the wrong defense in a different case.
Choosing the best defense to spousal battery starts with the facts. Is this a “he said, she said” case or are there witnesses? If physical injury is alleged, are the injuries confirmed by photographs or medical evidence? Is there an alternative explanation for any injuries that exist? Does the accused have an alibi?
Apart from factual defenses, it may be possible to assert legal defenses. Perhaps the alleged offense occurred beyond the court’s jurisdiction or happened too long ago to prosecute. Perhaps key evidence against the accused was obtained illegally. A number of legal defenses might derail the prosecution before the case ever gets to trial.
Many cases turn on credibility. Did the accuser make false accusations in the past? Does the accuser have a motive to get her intimate partner into trouble? Does other evidence prove that it is impossible for the alleged battery to have occurred in the way the accuser describes? Has the accuser been inconsistent when describing the alleged battery?
Choosing the right defense puts the accused in a position of strength. When prosecutors fear losing a case, they negotiate more reasonably. Sometimes they dismiss a charge. Having a strong domestic violence defense attorney fashion the best defense for a case can make the difference between a bad outcome and a good one.
Those facing charges for violating Penal Code 243 E 1 are invited to contact our law firm for a free case evaluation. The PC 243(e)(1) defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Randy Collins are committed to providing top notch legal defense for each and every client that they represent. Call 888-250-2865 to take advantage of a free consultation with one of our experienced domestic violence legal professionals.
Our domestic violence defense lawyers are standing by to help. Contact us 24/7 to receive your free case evaluation.