Contact Us for a Free Consultation (213) 542-0979

Domestic Battery

Penal Code 243(e)(1) PC - Domestic Battery in California

California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) has to do with a domestic violence situation where somebody angry with another person and commits a battery against them, typically in these type of charges, you're not going to see any injury on the person.

I would consider them a step down from a California Penal Code 273.5 which is commonly known as spousal abuse.  Also, if someone is charged a Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) it's gonna be a misdemeanor and not a felony.  Where the 273.5 can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor.

Probation and 52-Week Domestic Violence Program

So, this is obviously better than a regular domestic violence charge, but not much better, because you still lose a lot of rights.  You're still going to be put on probation for three years.  The prosecutors are typically still going to want the 52-week domestic violence program.

You're still going to lose your ability to bear arms for ten years more than likely, and you're still facing jail time and a host of other penalties.  So, even though a 243(e)(1) of the Penal Code is better than some of the other charges that you could be charged with related to spousal abuse or domestic violence, it's still not something that you want on your record if you could avoid it.

Lesser charges also are Penal Code 242.  It's just a simple battery.  You pushed somebody; you hit somebody, it doesn't really have anything necessarily to do with domestic violence, it's just a battery charge.

Then obviously going down from there, there's a disturbing the peace.  There's other offenses that you could be charged with.  But, the biggest thing is you're being charged with a misdemeanor.  It's a crime.  You're going to be put on probation  You're going to have a criminal record.  These are all concerns that you should have if you're being charged with a PC 243(e)(1).

I usually see this charge when it comes to a boyfriend/girlfriend type argument.  The police are called out.  They realize there's been some sort of violence between the two parties and they decide to arrest one person and then the prosecutors get the case.  They charge a criminal complaint and now we have to deal with the case.

Defenses to PC 243(e)(1) Domestic Battery 

Defenses to a Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) would of course be self-defense.  I've also seen situations where property can be defended in these scenarios.  Typically, you cannot use deadly force to defend property.

California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) Domestic Battery
I wrote the book on defending domestic violence charges.

However, if someone's breaking up all of your property and are about to damage your computer or laptop, for example, and throw it on the ground and you grab him by the arms and stop him and take it away from him, that certainly wouldn't be a crime.  You would be defending property.  There's a jury instruction on that.

If someone's attacking you and trying to hit you and you defend yourself — block the punches, grab the person, push them away, push them out of your way and try to get away from them, these are not crimes.  This is a self-defense situation when it comes to a battery charge in Los Angeles County.

I've been handling these 243(e)(1) cases for the past twenty-five years Many times, people have to plead guilty to them because they lose their temper and hit somebody and there's proof.

But, the question becomes what is the proof?  Because if there's no proof, then you might have a good chance to be able to defend the case.  You might be in a position where you can prove that you didn't do anything wrong.

Sometimes you're defending yourself; sometimes, you're defending somebody else; sometimes, you're defending your property.  It really just depends on the facts and circumstances surrounding the case.

How to Get the Best Result in a Domestic Battery Case?

When it comes to domestic violence, there are different names that police, prosecutors, and judges use to describe the conduct. For example, California Penal Code 243(e)(1) PC domestic battery involves people who usually live together, are significant others to each other, and one person illegally batters another.

I say it's illegal because sometimes somebody batters another person while defending themselves, which would be legal. They could not be convicted of a criminal charge if the jury believed the battery they committed against the other person was self-defense.

We have to look at the facts and circumstances of the case to determine how to get the best result for a particular individual.

I've been doing this now for 30 years.  I started out working for the district attorney's office. Then I began working for a superior court judge as his right-hand man, and finally, in 1994, I hung out my shingle and started defending people charged with domestic battery. I've been getting good results ever since.

Crucial Issue of Injuries

When we talk about the domestic battery, we're talking about somebody injuring another person. So if there's no injury, the prosecutors shouldn't be filing any criminal domestic violence case. 

They need that injury.  Yes, they can trump up charges when there's no injury, like if you assault somebody, pretend that you're going to punch them, and then pull your fist short. 

That would be an assault.  That will be a Penal Code 422 PC criminal threat if you threaten to kill somebody.  In different circumstances, somebody can do an unlawful act without battering or hurting the other person. But a battery is a harmful or offensive touching, and if you hurt somebody if you cause an injury to them, the police get a picture of it.

Different Types of Charges

They determine that you're the aggressor in the case, meaning our the one doing the physical violence is the case, they're going to charge you with a domestic battery-related offense:

  • Penal Code Section 273.5 PC is one of the charges they can file: corporal injury to a spouse;
  • They can charge 243(e)(1) of the Penal Code, which has to do with somebody who is not married to the other person but is living with the other person, and a battery occurs;
  • They can charge a simple misdemeanor battery, Penal Code Section 242 PC.

As I said, if other crimes go along with that – let's say you grab the person's out of their hand and break it on the ground, that's a crime. Let's say you threatened the person – that's a crime; so, there are all sorts of different angles that could be used to charge somebody with a crime. 

But, the domestic battery charge is one that we like to try to get rid of if we can because it shows that you hurt the person in some way, and therefore, that puts you in a bad position as it relates to trying to move forward with your future.

City Attorney Hearing

I've successfully got a non-filing case where somebody's arrested, they post a $50,000.00 bail, and the prosecutors can't show any actual injury. 

I can often get a City Attorney hearing in that situation and end up with a non-filing, where it's not a dismissal because they never filed the case in the first place and called a “DA reject.” 

That's much easier to get the non-file than the dismissal because once a prosecutor looks at the case and decides to file it, it's difficult to convince another prosecutor to get rid of it.

It's not impossible because there are circumstances where the prosecutor who filed the domestic battery case did not have all the information. It's my job as your advocate to give that prosecutor the information so they can assess things and see if the case is legitimate.

So, if you need the best, you're charged with domestic battery, and you've come to the right place.  Pick up the phone now and ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding.  Let me put my 30 years of experience to work for you.

Related Content: