PC 273.5

PC 273.5 – Corporal Injury to Spouse or Cohabitant

Understanding Domestic Violence Charges

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.

What is 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

Prosecutors will be required to prove that an individual charged with this offense willfully inflicted injury upon one of the aforementioned parties and that the injury resulted in a "traumatic condition." PC 273.5 defines a "traumatic condition" as any external or internal injury arising from the use of physical force.

Is California Penal Code 273.5 a Felony or a Misdemeanor?

Depending on the circumstances surrounding a case, this charge may be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or felony. When determining the severity of a charge, prosecutors will primarily focus on an individual's criminal record, particularly any prior domestic violence convictions, and the extent of the alleged victim's injuries.

What Are The Penalties for Corporal Injury on Spouse or Cohabitant?

Penalties will also vary depending on the charge and circumstances at hand. Penalties for a misdemeanor conviction can result in up to $6,000 in fines, up to one year in jail, or both. If convicted of a felony offense, you may face up to four years in a state prison.

Defending Against Domestic Violence Allegations

Domestic violence cases pose numerous difficulties to both the defense and the prosecution. To simplify matters, the most important thing to remember is that prosecutors have the burden of establishing proof that you willfully inflicted harm upon a spouse, cohabitant, or the mother or father of your child.

Given the fact that domestic violence cases are steeped in emotion and the complexities of family relationships, accomplishing this objective is no easy feat. As such, our criminal attorneys in Los Angeles take a proactive approach to handling your case by conducting our own investigations into the circumstances surrounding your arrest and allegations.

By securing the supporting evidence needed to disprove the prosecution's case, we can fight to reduce your risks of suffering the most crippling criminal penalties. We know that clients facing domestic violence charges have much at stake and we are aware that a conviction can threaten their freedom, reputation, and future. This being the case, our legal team leaves no stone unturned when handling your defense and fighting aggressively on your behalf at every stage of your legal journey.

Contact a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer from Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP today.

Discuss Your Case & Defense With Proven Legal Minds

Any individual facing a domestic violence charge such as PC 273.5 must be aware that law enforcement agencies, special domestic violence units, and prosecutors throughout the region are intent on convicting those charged with these offenses. In order to ensure that your rights are protected during the criminal court process, you must take the necessary steps to work with seasoned, experienced attorneys who possess the skills and resources to defend you against these serious allegations and the life-changing penalties they pose. We encourage residents throughout Los Angeles and the outlying communities to reach out to our firm to learn more about PC 273.5 and how our legal team can help. Do not wait until it is too late.

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