Premiere Los Angeles Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys

The Weinrieb Law Firm is widely regarding as a leading Domestic Violence defense law firm in Los Angeles. The Weinrieb Law Firm has successfully defended hundreds of people charged with felony and misdemeanor domestic violence offenses in Los Angeles.

If you or someone you care about is facing a domestic violence charge, the criminal defense attorneys at the Weinrieb Law Firm can help explain the charges and properly defend against them.  We can be reached twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week at (818) 933-6555.

What Is "Domestic Violence"?

"Domestic violence," "Domestic Abuse," "Spousal Abuse" or "Spousal Battery" all refer the intentional use of violence or force on someone with whom the defendant has a current or former intimate relationship.

As discussed below, Domestic Violence can be charged under three different sections of the penal code – which section applies to you and whether it is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depends on, among other things, any injuries resulting from the event and the relationship between the defendant and the victim.

Domestic Violence Charges – (1) Infliction Of Corporal Injury On A Spouse Or Domestic Partner; (2) "Simple" Domestic Battery; (3) Aggravated Assault

Infliction of Corporal Injury on a Spouse or Domestic Partner (Penal Code § 273.5):

Infliction of Corporal Injury on a Spouse or Domestic Partner is the willful use of force or violence on a spouse, former spouse, current or former cohabitant, or the mother or father of the defendant's child that results in a physical, traumatic condition.  In other words, there must be some evidence of injury, no matter how slight.

Infliction of Corporal Injury on a Spouse or Domestic Partner is a "wobbler" and can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.

"Simple" Domestic Battery (Penal Code § 243(e)(1)):

Simple Domestic Battery is the willful use of force or violence on a spouse, former spouse, current or former cohabitant, the mother or father of the defendant's child, or a former or current fiancée, or former or current boyfriend/girlfriend.

Simple Domestic Battery is a misdemeanor and may be charged where there was physical contact, but no physical evidence of injury to the victim.  It also has a broader reach than Infliction of Corporal Injury on a Spouse or Domestic Partner because it applies to a former or current fiancée, or former or current boyfriend/girlfriend.

Aggravated Battery (Penal Code § 243(d)):

Aggravated Battery can be charged as a felony in a domestic violence case where neither a  "Simple" Domestic Battery charge or a charge of Infliction of Corporal Injury on a Spouse or Domestic Partner fully apply to the facts.  When domestic violence results in injury, but the victim is a current or former fiancée, or current or former boyfriend/girlfriend, felony Aggravated Battery can be charged to fill the gap between the two domestic violence statutes. 

Elements Of A Domestic Violence Charge

The prosecution must prove the following facts to convict a defendant of Domestic Violence:

Infliction of Corporal Injury on a Spouse or Domestic Partner (Penal Code § 273.5):

  • "Domestic" Victim – The victim is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant (for example, a boyfriend and girlfriend living together), a former cohabitant, or the mother or father of the defendant's child.
  • Intent – Defendant used deliberate force and meant to commit the abusive act, even if the result or injury was not intended.
  • Corporal Injury – The abuse resulted some bodily injury that Defendant used deliberate force to inflict.  Examples of deliberate force are slapping, hitting, pushing, punching and kicking.  Accidental force, for example, an accidental push, is not deliberate force.
  • The Victim Suffered A "Traumatic Condition" – The victim's injury must be a "traumatic condition".  A traumatic condition requires a visible injury, but it does not need to be a serious injury.  The injury can be small, such as a tiny scratch, or a more serious injury such as visible swelling or trauma.  If the victim's injury is very serious, the prosecution may seek to "enhance" the charge by alleging a "great bodily injury" to increase the defendant's punishment.  

"Simple" Domestic Battery (Penal Code § 243(e)(1)):

  • "Intimate Partner" Victim – The victim must be a person within any of the categories for a "Domestic" victim (see above), and also includes a current and former fiancée or a current or former boyfriend/girlfriend.
  • Intent – Defendant used deliberate force or violence, even if the result or injury was not intended.
  • Unwanted Physical Touching – The force or violence resulted in an unwanted physical touching, no matter how slight.  The touching does not need to result in an injury or even a visible mark.

Punishment For Domestic Violence

As with any crime, the potential punishment for domestic violence will vary based on the facts of the case, and can include:

Infliction of Corporal Injury on a Spouse or Domestic Partner (Penal Code § 273.5):

Infliction of Corporal Injury on a Spouse or Domestic Partner is a "wobbler" and can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.  In deciding whether to file the charge as a misdemeanor or felony, the prosecutor will consider, among other things, the extent of the victim's injuries and the defendant's criminal history.

  • Misdemeanor -- Up to one year in county jail and a $6,000 fine, or both
  • Felony – 2, 3 or 4 years in a state prison, a $6000 fine, or both.

"Simple" Domestic Battery (Penal Code § 243(e)(1)):

  • Up to 1 year in county jail
  • Up to a $2,000 fine
  • Minimum one-year batterer's treatment program if probation is granted

Defenses To Domestic Abuse Charges

Depending on the particular facts of a case, defenses to a Domestic Violence charge may include the following:

  • False Accusations – Arguments between spouses and domestic partners can often result in false accusations of domestic abuse
  • Self Defense – Defendant used reasonable self defense to protect himself or herself from an attack from their spouse or domestic partner
  • Accident -- Defendant did not deliberately do an act to cause injury

Contact Us

If you or someone you care about is facing criminal investigation or criminal charges of any type, please contact the criminal defense attorneys at the Weinrieb Law Firm. We can be reached twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week at (818) 933-6555, or through the confidential and secure email form on the firm's website at www.VWattorneys.com.

 

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