Posted on October 20, 2018

What is the Punishment for California PC 273.5(a)?

In California, domestic battery with corporal injury is charged under penal code 273.5(a) pc.[1] The statute makes it a crime to willfully commit an un-consensual battery upon another causing a traumatic condition. It is a domestic violence offense because the act must be committed against your roommate, spouse, family member, or relationship partner.

Law enforcement are mandated to arrest someone involved in a domestic violence incident. Unfortunately, a passionate exchange with your spouse coupled with merely grabbing their arm causing any marking, including a small bruise, will lead to your arrest, and having to post bail between $25,000 to $50,000. It is not uncommon for first-time offenders to be arrested for this offense. However, many cannot afford the consequences of having a domestic violence conviction on their permanent record. This charge could lead to job termination and the social stigma attachment of forever being labeled a domestic violence offender.

All domestic violence offenses, including corporal injury, are priorable offenses that make any subsequent conviction carry harsher consequences. The crime is a wobbler that allows the prosecutor to charge you with either a felony or a misdemeanor. Factors the prosecutor will consider are: (1) your prior criminal record; (2) whether a weapon was involved; and (3) the level of injury the purported victim received. Contrary to popular belief, the government may still charge you with domestic violence even if the alleged victim makes it clear they do not want charges filed.

A misdemeanor conviction corporal injury is punishable by up to 1 year in the county jail and a maximum fine amount of $2,000. A felony conviction carries 2, 3, or 4 years in state prison. If the circumstances resulted in the victim suffering great bodily injury, then the offense elevates to a strike applied to California’s three strike laws.

Ordinarily, the court will grant an offender probation in lieu of jail. Consequently, a conviction mandates 52 weeks-worth of domestic violence counseling. In addition, the court usually imposes community service, anger management, and imposes a protective order that bars all contact with the purported victim.

Corporal injury can carry life-changing consequences, especially for those who have children. A protective order can bar all contact not only with the alleged victim, but can also enforce no contact with the mutually shared children. Any violation could result in jail time and additional charges. Not to mention, it is not uncommon for child protective services to conduct an investigation concurrently with law enforcement. Furthermore, a conviction carries a 10 year firearm ban in California and perhaps in a life-time ban under federal law.

If you have been arrested or charged with domestic battery with corporal injury under PC 273.5(a), then contact an experienced Orange County domestic violence attorney at the Law Offices of John D. Rogers for a free confidential consultation concerning your rights and defenses.[2]

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Legal Footnotes:

[1] (a) Any person who willfully inflicts corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition upon a victim described in subdivision (b) is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of up to six thousand dollars ($6,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.

[2] Our Orange County domestic violence lawyers handle cases all throughout Orange County including Irvine, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Seal Beach, Westminster, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Aliso Viejo, Tustin, Laguna Nigel, Anaheim, Yorba Linda, and Lake Forest.

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