The willful infliction of corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition upon a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or the mother or father of his or her child. CPC 273.5
When an individual grabs with force, strikes or hits another person and the two are married, in a dating relationship, or romantically involved, he/she may be charged with Domestic Violence. Domestic Violence may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The maximum punishment for a misdemeanor is one-year in jail. Felony Domestic Violence however is punishable by imprisonment for two years, three years, or four years in prison. A first time offender however will be granted probation if he or she admits guilt at an early stage of the proceedings when there are minor injuries.
Depending on the victim’s sustained injuries, a Domestic Violence case may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. If the injuries are minor, the case will likely be filed as a misdemeanor. If the injuries are serious however, it will likely be filed as a felony. Irrespective of whether the matter is filed as a misdemeanor or a felony, if a defendant is found guilty or pleads guilty to Domestic Violence, he/she must complete a 52-week batterer’s treatment program, along with some community service and pay certain fines and fees.
Conviction of this offense has grave employment and immigration consequences. If a member of the armed forces is convicted of this offense, he/she shall lose his/her rights to bear arms pursuant to Federal Statutes. This will inevitably lead to military discharge. Legal residents or asylum seekers convicted of this offense are subject to deportation from the United States.
This charge may be negotiated with the District Attorney’s Office to avoid both immigration and employment consequences. The 52-week batterer’s treatment will also be subject to negotiations and may be substituted with a shorter program if the client has a clean record.