California domestic violence laws: A Concise Legal Overview

California Domestic Violence Laws

California Domestic Violence Laws: A Concise Legal Overview 

In accordance with California domestic violence laws, it is illegal to assault or attempt to injure a present or previous wife, cohabitant, co-parent, romantic or affectionate relationship. In certain situations, protected individuals include grandparents, adolescents, and cousins.

California domestic violence laws: Crimes and Punishments Associated with Domestic Violence

Instances of domestic abuse might result in more serious charges than simple assault. False imprisonment, stalking, and disobeying a protection order are all types of offenses that fall under this category.


Stalking is when an offender pursues, harasses, or threatens a victim in such a way that the victim worries for their safety. Also, stalking can take place in a number of different ways. The defendant could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the facts surrounding the stalking incident. They may spend up to one year in jail and pay a fine of up to $1,000 if convicted of a misdemeanor. But if convicted of a felony, they could spend up to five years behind bars.

Illusionary confinement:

False incarceration is defined under the law of the state of California as the unjustified deprivation of another person’s liberty. One illustration of this would be keeping someone in captivity against their will and denying them the ability to escape. The prosecution can charge the defendant with either a misdemeanor or a felony for wrongful imprisonment. The punishment for the misdemeanor crime is a maximum of one year in jail and a fine of $1,000. Suppose the offender employs violence, deception, or dishonesty as part of the unlawful detention. In that case, they risk the possibility of a felony charge, which carries a jail sentence of up to three years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Acts that are contrary to the terms of a restraining or protective order:

It is a misdemeanor to violate protection, restraining, or stay-away order. The maximum term for this crime is one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Suppose the defendant caused another person to sustain physical harm as a result of the offense. In that case, the judge needs to impose a minimum jail sentence of 48 hours. He/ she can increase the maximum sentence to up to three years in prison for a second or subsequent violation that occurs within seven years and involves an act of violence or a genuine threat of harm.

California domestic violence laws: What are the most common offenses and punishments for domestic abuse?

Battery, assault, intimidation, and mistreatment are the most common forms of domestic misuse offenses in the state of California. Some of these infractions are misdemeanors. Others are classified as felonies.


However, the majority of these violations are nothing but wobbler charges in California. Depending on the circumstances, conduct that can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a misdemeanor is known as a wobbler.


  • The nature of the offense
  • The extent of the claimed victim’s injuries, if any
  • Defendant’s prior criminal history 


are all factors that will be considered.

Domestic Laws of California

Penal Code 273.5, bodily assault on a spouse or household member

Under Section 273.5 of the Penal Code, it is a crime to cause corporal injury to a person who is a significant lover in any way, even if the damage is just mild.


PC 273.5 is indeed a misdemeanor. The possible punishments for a first violation vary from one year in county prison to as much as four years in California federal prison.


Several defenses are available to those charged with domestic abuse under section 273.5 of the penal code:


  • You lacked the necessary amount of willful intent

Whether or not you intended to cause injury to your intimate partner is irrelevant to whether or not you committed this particular offense.


For instance, a disagreement may result in unforeseen repercussions, such as the participant shoving the other person in anger as they leave the room, causing the other person to fall and incur a concussion.


  • It Was for Our Protection

Self-defense is a common affirmative defense. It is used by defendants in cases involving violent crimes. This defense states that the defendant has no choice. He/ she has to resort to violent or even lethal means to shield himself from severe immediate damage.


  • Evidence is absent

If there is plainly visible damage to an intimate companion of the accused who asserts that the defendant committed it, and if either the intimate partner has a background of domestic aggression or there are eyewitnesses, then the conviction under PC 273.5 might seem to be relatively straightforward.


However, many instances of domestic abuse only happen while the complainant and the perpetrator are in the same room together. If victims change their statements or refuse to participate, there is very little the District Attorney can do.


Penal Code 243, domestic battery

In California, inflicting pressure or aggression on a current or former partner is nothing but a misdemeanor under Penal Code 243. This is the legislation that governs domestic battery. In contrast to Criminal Code 273.5, this domestic abuse provision in California does not necessitate that there be visible harm.


Misdemeanor charges can be brought for domestic battery. A county jail sentence of up to twelve months and a penalty of up to two thousand dollars USD may be imposed as part of the punishment.

Consult with an attorney

A conviction for violating California Domestic Violence Laws can result in significant consequences, some of which may include a lengthy period of incarceration. Suppose you are charged with California Domestic Violence Laws. In that case, you should speak with a local criminal defense attorney. He/ she has expertise in representing clients in cases related to domestic violence. You can safeguard your rights as you are guided through the procedure by an expert attorney from who can advocate on your behalf.–bloom?share

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