Emotions can run high between people involved in an intimate relationship. Simple disagreements or arguments can escalate to accusations of violence, or actual violence, in the heat of passion. Most times, the anger between two individuals can fade as quickly as it arose, with both parties apologetic for their roles in the flare up.
Unfortunately, sometimes law enforcement has already become involved by the time tempers have cooled. Or, maybe a third party overreacted and called police fearing that violence might happen. Either way, if you or your partner have been accused of domestic violence, it’s important to involve an experienced domestic violence attorney as early in the legal process as possible.
The Law Offices of David A. Stein represent clients in domestic violence cases throughout Orange County. We have been able to get charges reduced or dropped all together, allowing couples to begin repairing their relationship or move on from that relationship. Call our offices today at (949) 445-0040 for a free, comprehensive consultation.
The California statute most commonly charged in alleged violence between couples is Penal Code 273.5 PC. This statute is different from a regular assault charge because it applies specifically to couples or former couples. Three elements must apply for you to be charged with Penal Code 273.5 PC:
- You WILLFULLY inflicted the physical injury on the other party,
- The physical injury resulted in a TRAUMATIC CONDITION, and
- The person you injured was your INTIMATE PARTNER OR FORMER PARTNER.
The following words or phrases are particularly import in this statute:
Meaning the action that caused the injury was intentional. For example, you purposefully bumped into your spouse as opposed to accidentally bumped into them.
Meaning any wound or other bodily injury caused by the direct application of physical force. The injury doesn’t have to be serious; it can be as minor as a scratch or bruise, or as severe as a broken bone or a concussion.
Intimate partner or former intimate partner
Meaning the injured party is:
- A spouse or former spouse,
- A person with whom you are, or formerly were, cohabiting (living with),
- A fiance or fiancee,
- A person who is the parent of your child, or
- A person with whom you have, or have previously had, a “dating relationship.”
Code 273.5 PC is what is known as a “wobbler” offense, meaning it can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. How the prosecutor charges the defendant will depend on several factors, such as:
- The facts surrounding the crime
- The severity of the injury
- The criminal record of the offender
- Whether the defendant has prior offenses for this crime
Code 273.5 PC is a serious offense and is very emotionally charged in the eyes of the courts, the public, and the media. In addition to fines and jail time, you can suffer other repercussions if convicted:
- Damage to reputation
- Loss of custody and visitation rights
- Loss of firearm privileges
- Deportation, if not a U.S. citizen
- Inability to obtain certain licenses and certifications
As you can see, California takes domestic violence very seriously. This is why it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible if you have been accused of domestic violence. At the Law Offices of David A. Stein we have experience in domestic violence disputes. We want results that are in the best interests of you, your partner, and your family. Call us today at (949) 445-0040 for a free consultation.