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Domestic Violence Charges can be Misdemeanor or Felony

Domestic violence (DV)charges depend on the extent of force used and the injury inflicted or threatened.  The officers arrive on scene, separate the persons involved in the domestic violence, investigate, take photos, question the individuals and any witnesses.  Based on their investigation, someone almost always is arrested and goes to jail.  This quiets the situation, separates the parties, and the reports are turned over to the District Attorney (D.A.) for review and filing charges.  If there are no serious injuries or violence involved, the aggressor is charged with a misdemeanor, usually California Penal Code 243(e)(1) misdemeanor spousal battery.

Misdememeanor spousal battery is an unlawful rude or angry touching without injury.  It could be a simple push or other unlawfull use of force.  While it is referred to as spousal battery, the couple do not have to be married, but must have been in a dating relatinship at one time, cohabiting, or have children together.  The sentence carries possible custody up to a year and a fine up to $2000, 52 week domestic violence program, protective order, and firearm prohabition for 10 years.

The felony spousal abuse with injury is California Penal Code 273.5(a) and requires willfully inflicting a "corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition..." on their spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, or parent of their child.  It carries up to 4 years prison and a $10,000 fine, 52 week domestic violence program if granted probation, restitution for injuries, protective order, no firearms for life.  It is possible that if the injuries are not significant, the D.A. could file the charge as a misdemeanor P.C. 273.5(a) per P.C. 17(b)(4) with misdemeanor penalties similar to the P.C. 243(e)(1).

Many times input be a Defense attorney with additional witness or victim information can result in the charges being rejected, not filed, or filed as a misdemeanor even if there was a felony arrest.  Christoph Law Offices have handled hundreds of felony and misdemeanor DV cases over the 30+ years they have been located across from Vista Courts.  Call 760-941-5720 for a free consultation as soon as possible to try and address the charges before they are filed.

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