California Domestic Violence Laws

California lawmakers have passed a number of laws related to domestic violence. You may be charged with an act of domestic violence under any of these laws, each of which carries specific penalties.

California Penal Code 273 5 (a)

Cases in which it is alleged that corporal injury was inflicted upon a spouse or cohabitant will face charges under this law. If an act of violence is believed to have been inflicted upon a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, a fiancé, a dating or former dating partner, or mother or father of the accused child, a criminal charge will be filed against you under this statute. A conviction may result in:

  • Up to four years served in state prison.
  • A felony conviction on your permanent criminal record.
  • The loss of the right to own a firearm.
  • The loss of the right to vote.
  • The loss of professional licenses.

If probation is allowed, the punishments and requirements are extensive:

  • Some jail time may be required, up to 60 days for those with more than one prior conviction.
  • The requirement to attend domestic violence batterers treatment classes.
  • A restraining order as long as ten years.
  • Loss of immigration status.
  • Ordered to pay restitution to the victim.
  • Ordered to pay up to $5,000 to a battered women’s shelter.

This charge is typically filed as a felony, even in cases when the alleged victim is not seriously injured, but merely has a red mark on his or her skin.

California Penal Code 243 (e) (1)

Under this law, it is a misdemeanor offense to inflict force or violence on an intimate partner, whether a spouse, former spouse, fiancé, dating partner or former dating partner, or the parent of a shared child. Under this law, no visible injury need exist to face charges. The penalties imposed by the court may include:

  • Up to one year in jail.
  • Fines up to $2,000.
  • Restitution paid to the alleged victim.
  • Court-ordered payments to a battered women’s shelter.

California Penal Code 273a

Under this law, any person who is believed to put a child in a circumstance or condition that may produce great bodily harm, or permits a child to suffer, or inflicts unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, causes the health of a child to be injured or endangered will be charged with a criminal offense, a felony or misdemeanor. The penalties include:

  • Imprisonment in county jail or state prison for up to 6 years.

If probation is granted:

  • Probation for a mandatory minimum of 48 months.
  • A criminal protective order.
  • Stay-away orders and restricted from returning to a shared home.
  • Completion of a one-year child abuser’s treatment program.
  • Drug and alcohol testing.

California Penal Code 273d

In cases in which it is alleged that a person willfully inflicted cruel or inhuman corporal punishment on a child that led to injury or a traumatic condition, a felony charge will be filed. The penalties include:

  • Up to six years in state prison
  • Fines of up to $6,000

If probation is granted, the requirements will include:

  • Minimum term of probation of 3 years.
  • A criminal protective order which may include stay-away orders and exclusion from a family residence.
  • Completion of a one-year child abuser’s treatment program.
  • Random drug and alcohol testing.

Defense Against Domestic Violence Charges: How We Can Help

If you are facing charges under any of these laws, it is imperative that you retain legal counsel immediately. As charges may be filed as a misdemeanor or felony, negotiations undertaken in the earliest stages of your case can be beneficial. When you are represented by attorney George H. Ramos, Jr. you are under the care of one of the most experienced domestic violence defense lawyers practicing in the San Diego area. Mr. Ramos was formerly a supervising attorney in the San Diego Child Abuse/Domestic Violence Unit. This experience has proven to be of significant benefit to his clients.

Contact Us Today

Your future freedom is at stake, along with your reputation, your ability to retain a professional license, and if an immigrant, your status. It is critical that you get legal assistance from The Law Firm of George H. Ramos, Jr. immediately if you are facing charges under any of these statutes. Call today for a free case consultation.