Does a Violation PC 273.5(a) Require Visible Injury?

February 2, 2023

California penal code 273.5(a) states that any person who willfully inflicts corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition upon a current or former spouse, cohabitant, or parent of his or her child is guilty of a felony or misdemeanor. The key phrase in this section is “corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition.” This phrase has been interpreted by courts to mean that the injury must be visible or observable in order for there to be a violation of this section. However, this may not always be the case.

The California Court of Appeal clarified that a “traumatic condition” requires more than just a minor injury. The court stated that a traumatic condition is “a wound or other external or internal injury, whether of a minor or serious nature, caused by or resulting from a physical force.” This means that a visible injury, such as a bruise or cut, must be present in order for there to be a violation of penal code 273.5(a).

However, it is important to note that the injury does not necessarily have to be severe. A minor injury, such as a bruise or a small cut, can still be considered a traumatic condition if it is the result of physical force. Additionally, the injury does not have to be limited to the victim’s physical body; it can also include injuries to the victim’s emotional or psychological well-being.

It’s worth mentioning that some of the cases related to this code section may come to the court with no visible injury, but with substantial evidence of the physical force being used, and in these cases the court may still find the defendant guilty of the offense. This evidence can come in the form of witnesses, medical reports, photographs, or other forms of documentation.

In summary, a violation of PC 273.5(a) requires the existence of a visible injury, or a traumatic condition, resulting from physical force. This injury can be minor or severe, and can include injuries to the victim’s emotional or psychological well-being.

If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, then you need to protect yourself. Early intervention by an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney can be the difference of suffering from a criminal conviction or having the case rejected entirely from prosecution. Call the Law Offices of John D. Rogers today to schedule a free consultation.

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