PC 273.5 – Corporal Injury to Spouse or Cohabitant

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California establishes and enforces a number of domestic violence laws. Although there are many different statutes relating to domestic violence, one of the most common charges, as well as one the primary domestic violence laws in California, is California Penal Code § 273.5. PC 273.5 – infliction of corporal injury upon a spouse or cohabitant – is also referred to as domestic battery or domestic abuse and is typically the most common domestic violence allegation. As defined by the statute, a person will be charged with this form of domestic violence if they inflict "corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition" against any of the following parties:

  • A current or former spouse;
  • A current or former cohabitant; or
  • The mother or father of their child

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