If you are convicted of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse under California Penal Code Section 273.5, you face harsh penalties. A felony conviction is punishable by up to four years in state prison and fines of up to $6,000. You could also be prohibited from making any contact at all with the victim for 10 years and required to complete a 52-week batterer’s program.
To avoid these serious consequences, you need to understand the law under PC 273.5. Many people don’t know what it means to “inflict corporal injury” or who the law protects. Let’s look deeper into this complex law.
Prosecution for Corporal Injury on a Spouse (PC 273.5)
In order to be convicted of corporal injury on a spouse under PC 273.5, the prosecution must prove all of the following elements:
- You inflicted corporal injury on a spouse, ex-spouse, partner or ex-partner, former or current cohabitant, or mother or father of your child,
- You willfully inflicted the injury, and
- A traumatic condition, whether a minor or serious wound or other injury to the body caused by physical force, resulted from the injury
Sandal Blue Grouped Chaco Zcloud Women's Sport Many people understand this law as physically hitting or injuring your significant other, but as you can see from the elements of this crime, it is much broader in scope than that.
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One of the key phrases in the elements of corporal injury on a spouse is “a traumatic condition.” This helps define “injury” under this law. For instance, when you think of the word “injury,” you may think of broken bones or severe pain that won’t allow you to walk or do normal tasks. However, the phrase “traumatic condition” is much more inclusive.
This means you could be convicted of this crime if you caused a minor injury to the victim, including small bruises or redness on the skin.
Does the Victim Have to Be Your Spouse?
Another common misconception regarding PC 273.5 is that you cannot be convicted of this crime if the alleged victim is not your spouse. This is simply not true. The law says that you can be convicted of this crime if you inflict corporal injury on a spouse or ex-spouse, partner or ex-partner, cohabitant, or co-parent.
So, for example, you could be convicted of this crime if you inflict corporal injury on your significant other, regardless if that person is living with you. It also means you could be convicted under PC 273.5 if you inflict corporal injury on a roommate.
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A conviction of corporal injury on a spouse could have devastating consequences for you. You face jail time, expensive fines and counseling if you are convicted of this crime. That is why you should speak to an experienced domestic violence attorney immediately if you are accused of corporal injury on a spouse.
At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled criminal defense attorneys have over 35 years of experience successfully defending our clients charged with corporal injury on a spouse. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Los Angeles, West Covina, Torrance and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich domestic violence attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us now at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (714) 587-5749 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.