Domestic Violence charges are usually limited to violations of either section 273.5(a) or 243(e)(1) of the Penal Code. There are a few key differences between these two sections. Section 243(e)(1) can only be charged as a misdemeanor and is limited to instances where the alleged injury, if any, is very slight. Section 273.5(a), on the other hand, can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony and is reserved for circumstances in which the alleged injury results in a "traumatic condition." If there is an allegation that the act of domestic violence resulted in Great Bodily Injury, the consequences become even more severe than those listed below, including "Strike" consequences. There are a number of factors that are considered in charging and dealing with domestic violence cases. The first step you should take if you’ve been accused of domestic violence is to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
California Penal Code Section 273.5(a)
(a) Any person who willfully inflicts upon a person who is his or her spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or the mother or father of his or her child, corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition, 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.
California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1)
(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 participate in, for no less than one year, and successfully complete, a batterer’s treatment program, as defined 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.