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Difference Between Domestic Battery and Corporal Injury to Spouse

Learn the Difference Between a California Penal Code 243(e)(1) PC Domestic Battery and Penal Code 273.5 PC Corporal Injury to Spouse.

This issue comes up a lot in domestic violence cases because people can't figure out why they're charged with one or the other.

Sometimes when you're charged with California Penal Code Section 273.5, corporal injury to a spouse, which is basically domestic violence and can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor.

Then the prosecutors will give you the lesser charge of Penal Code 243(e)(1), which is domestic battery.

Injuries are the Key Factor in Domestic Violence Cases

Difference Between California Domestic Battery and Corporal Injury to Spouse
The difference between domestic battery and corporal injury to a spouse charges in California is the level of injuries on the victim.

The difference between the two is injury.  In PC 273.5, the person will have some sort of injury. Whereas, in PC 243(e)(1), you can commit battery against your significant other without visible injury for the police to take a picture of.

That's really the difference between the two.  That's why I would say the PC 273.5 is the more serious one because that is an injury on a person.  The police will bring their camera and take a picture of any injury and then they'll use that to prosecute the person.

The 243(e)(1) domestic battery charge is just harmful or offensive touching.  So, if someone shoves somebody, slaps them in the face, punches them and there is no visible injury when the police get there, that would be a 243E.

One good thing about the fact of there not being a visible injury when the police arrive is that it gives you a chance to try to win the case.  A lot of times the prosecutors won't even file those cases where the person has a clean record and there is no injury, because that kind of leaves things up for grabs as to whether there really was anything that happened.

A jury is going to want to see something — they're going to want to see an injury on the person if the police are going to try to claim there is a battery.

Because a lot of times the alleged victim in these cases doesn't cooperate with the prosecutors when push comes to shove at the trial.  So, if they don't even have an injury and that person is not really cooperating, that puts them in a bad position.

Best Strategy to Defend a Corporal Injury to a Spouse Case

This legal lingo related to domestic violence cases, as it relates to corporal injury to a spouse, has to do with a situation where people are married and they get into some argument or fight. One party uses force against another, so they charge a corporal injury to a spouse, Penal Code Section 273.5, which requires an injury. 

In these cases, you'll see that in addition to arresting the person, they will take photographs of the victim's injuries to prove that this was a corporal injury to the spouse.  They'll also make the person post a $50,000.00 bond and give them a court date. 

Protective Order

When the person arrives at the court date, the judge will order that the person stay 100 yards away from their significant other, which creates big problems in a family where a husband is ordered to stay away from a wife.

I've been doing this for 30 years, and in most of those years, we were able to get a level 1 protective order where the person could still be within 100 yards of their significant other; they just couldn't hit them in any way or do any other type of domestic violence activity.

But in today's society, for whatever reason, the courts are adamant that this protective order goes into place. So there are some strategies we can use to try to combat this.  For example:

  • have you enrolled in a domestic violence program before the court date and show that they're serious about this not happening again;
  • your criminal history;
  • your family situation.

There are other things that we can talk about depending on the facts and circumstances of your case that also make sense.

Experienced Legal Defense Matters

The bottom line is, hiring a private criminal defense attorney to defend you when you're charged with corporal injury to a spouse, in my opinion, is imperative because that lawyer is going to be able to get a jump on the case, start doing some things to prepare for the arraignment which is going to be upcoming.

Another thing we can do to try to mitigate things and get the best result is to get character letters to show what type of person you are – to show the other side of the story. So many times, the police do a one-sided investigation.  They don't get your point of view across. 

So, what I have you do is come, and we will sit down and discuss your case and get our roadmap together of exactly how we will handle the case to bring you the best possible result. 

I need you to be honest with me.  Give me all the information that you have.  Don't hold anything back even if it's not beneficial to you, and I will use my experience to figure out exactly how to attack the case and get you the best possible result. 

Contact the Hedding Law Firm 

They're going to use the bodycam of the police officer and the statement of what the person said and they'll use the surrounding circumstances, and obviously, whatever the police say, and they're going to use whatever the defendant said as well.

So, the bottom line is this.  Pick up the phone if you're charged with a 273.5 domestic violence or 243E.

Ask to speak to Ron Hedding.  I've been doing this for 26 years.  I can help you, but you have to make the call, set up the meeting and we'll protect your rights, your freedom, your reputation and your career.

I will negotiate with the prosecutor, their supervisor, the judge – whatever it takes to get you that result that you must have. So, if you need the best, pick up the phone and ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding.  I stand at the ready to help you.