Domestic Battery

I want to take a moment to discuss the penalties around domestic battery. It's worth noting that there are some distinctions between various sections of the Penal Code that relate to this type of an alleged conduct. The one I'm going to describe is considered of a lesser nature than others. It is filed as a misdemeanor, rather than as a felony and carries lower penalties. The penalties for violating California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1), commonly known as the "domestic battery" law, are as follows:

  • It is a misdemeanor offense.
  • The maximum penalty is up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A fine of up to $2,000 may be imposed.
  • If granted probation, the defendant must complete a court-approved batterer's treatment program of at least 1 year.
  • For a second or subsequent conviction, there is a minimum jail sentence of 48 hours.
  • Other potential consequences include protective orders and loss of gun rights.

While a first offense of PC 243(e)(1) domestic battery carries up to 1 year in jail, a $2,000 fine, and mandatory batterer's treatment as terms of probation, subsequent convictions result in a minimum 48 hours of jail time in addition to the other penalties.

The key distinction from regular battery under PC 242 is that the victim must be an intimate partner, such as a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, dating partner, or co-parent. While no injury is required, any offensive touching against this class of victim can trigger domestic battery charges.

It is extremely important, if you were charged with this offense, that you hire qualified attorney. We have had many, many instances of either reductions or outright dismissals when our clients are faced with this. It is important to establish whether or not occurred, whether the alleged victim, supports prosecution, whether there are children in the home and the overall family dynamic so that the defense attorney can properly instruct the district attorney about whether or not a conviction would benefits society or have a serious negative impact because of the loss of job, loss of gun, rights, loss of reputation, etc. If you have a matter of this nature or someone who does, please call William Weinberg, Irvine and Newport Beach, California domestic violence, defense attorney at (949) 474-8008.

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