California "Domestic Battery" Law
Penal Code 243e1 pc

Domestic battery, also commonly referred to as "domestic abuse", "domestic assault",  "domestic violence", "spousal battery", "spousal abuse", and "spousal assault",  is a term that is commonly used to describe a variety of California domestic  violence crimes.

California Penal Code section pc 243 (e) (1) is the most common misdemeanor  offense pertaining to this area of the law.  This section prohibits "any willful infliction of force or violence upon  your intimate partner".1

In order to better understand 243 (e) (1) PC... and how it differs from other  domestic violence offenses... our California domestic  violence defense attorneys will address the following:

1. California Penal Code pc 243(e)(1) - The Crime of  "Domestic Battery"
2. Domestic Battery  Distinguished from other Domestic Violence Crimes
3. Lesser  Included and Related Offenses to
Domestic Battery
4. How do Prosecutors Prove that I Committed  a Domestic Battery under Penal Code
section 243  (e) (1) pc?
5. Prior Acts of Domestic Violence
6. Penalties,  Punishment and Sentencing for Misdemeanor Domestic Battery
7. How do  I Fight a Penal Code 243 (e) (1) Domestic Battery  Allegation?
8. Comparing Nevada's "Battery Domestic Violence" Law
Img-domestic-violence243e1-1

This photograph  was originally taken by Flickr user zappowbang/Justin Henry and the original photo can be found here.

Topics you may cover in a 52-week batterers intervention program:

  • Accountability and personal responsibility
  • Defense mechanisms like denial and minimization
  • Effects of abuse on others
  • Power and control dynamics
  • Stress management and coping
  • Attitudes and beliefs about domestic violence
  • Abuse triggers like fear and jealousy
  • Time-out techniques
  • Emotional expression skills

If, after reading this article, you have additional  questions, we invite you to contact us.

You may also find helpful information in our related  articles on Penal Code 273.5 Intentional Infliction of Corporal Injury, Penal  Code 273d Child Abuse, Penal Code 273a Child Endangerment, Penal Code 242 Battery,  Penal Code 240 Assault, and Self Defense.

1. California Penal Code pc 243(e)(1) - The Crime of  "Domestic Battery"

As mentioned above, domestic battery is defined in section 243 (e) (1) pc of  the California Penal Code. You commit a  domestic battery under this section if you willfully inflict force or violence  upon your intimate partner.2

"Intimate partners," for purposes of California  domestic violence law, makes no distinction between those involved in  heterosexual or same-sex relationships.

Under PC 243 (e) (1), "intimate partners" include:

  • your fiancé or fiancée
  • your current or former spouse,
  • someone with whom you live,
  • the parent of your child, or
  • anyone you are or were dating3

You can be arrested for spousal battery under Penal Code 243 (e) (1) pc even  if you only use the slightest force... any unwanted physical touching  will suffice.4 This is often referred to as simple domestic  battery. This means that you don't  actually have to injure your intimate partner to be convicted of this  particular domestic violence crime.

Example:  Donna, at a movie in Long Beach  with her boyfriend Rich, slaps him  across the face. Even though the contact  doesn't hurt or leave any visible mark, Long Beach Police could arrest  Donna for this domestic battery violation.

2. Domestic Battery Distinguished from  other California  Domestic Violence Crimes

Penal Code pc 243 (e) (1) simple domestic battery is always a misdemeanor5 and is the least serious of the three California  domestic abuse laws. As previously  stated, the prosecutor can convict you of this offense even if you don't injure  your partner.

If you do injure your partner, the  prosecuting agency has three options:

  1. it can proceed with a simple domestic battery under 243 (e) (1),
  2. it can proceed under Penal Code 243 (d) aggravated battery, or
  3. it can proceed under Penal Code 273.5 intentional infliction of corporal injury.

Penal Code 243 (d) Aggravated Battery

Penal Code 243 (d) aggravated  battery is a "wobbler".6 This means that it may be filed as either a  misdemeanor or a felony depending on

  • the injury that the accuser sustained,
  • the circumstances of the act, and
  • your criminal history.

What distinguishes this offense from Penal Code 243 (e) (1) is that (a) the  accuser must suffer a serious bodily  injury, and (b) the accuser can be anybody,  not just an intimate partner.7

Under this section, "serious bodily injury" means serious harm to one's  body. Examples may include a concussion,  broken bones, an injury requiring extensive stitches and disfigurement.8

Example:  When Donna slapped her boyfriend Rich, her nail cut into Rich's eye,  causing partial blindness. If  prosecutors wanted to allege felony battery against Donna, this is the violation they would file. This section is a "catchall" that provides  for domestic abuse prosecution when the accuser doesn't qualify as an "intimate  partner" under 273.5 below.

Penal Code 273.5 Intentional  Infliction of Corporal Injury

Like aggravated battery, Penal Code 273.5 intentional  infliction of corporal injury is a wobbler.9 You commit this offense if you willfully  inflict a corporal ("bodily") injury on

  • your current or former spouse,
  • someone with whom you live or lived, or
  • the parent of your child

if the injury results in a  traumatic condition.10 This offense therefore differs from the other  DV offenses in two ways: (1) it adds the  requirement that the accuser suffers a "traumatic condition", and (2) it limits  the definition of "intimate partner".

Under this California  spousal battery law, a "traumatic condition" means a wound or other injury  (whether minor or serious) caused by physical force.11 Here, it is enough if any injury appears. If the  accuser sustains any injuries... even as insignificant as scratches, red marks, or  bruises... you will likely be arrested for a Penal Code 273.5 violation.

And as far as "intimate partners" are concerned... unlike domestic battery  under Penal Code 243 (e) (1), "intentional infliction of corporal injury" can't  be filed against you if you injured your former or current fiancée or someone  you are or were dating.

Example:  When Donna slapped her boyfriend Rich, she scratched him with her ring  causing his face to bleed. Although the  scratch on Rich's face qualifies as a "traumatic condition", Donna couldn't be  prosecuted under 273.5 because Rich doesn't qualify as an "intimate partner"  under this section.

Under those circumstances, prosecutors would evaluate the case and elect to  either file (1) simple misdemeanor battery under Penal Code 243(e)(1) pc, or  (2) aggravated battery under Penal Code 243 (d), both described above.

If, however, Rich was Donna's husband,  Donna could be prosecuted for inflicting a corporal injury upon her intimate  partner pursuant to Penal Code 273.5.

Penal Code 368 Elder Abuse

Stated in Penal Code 368, California elder abuse laws make it a crime to inflict physical pain or mental suffering on anyone 65 years of age or older. If conduct amounts to domestic battery, but the alleged victim if 65 or older, prosecutors could elect to proceed under this section.

California elder abuse laws provide for stiffer penalties than PC 243(e)(1). As a misdemeanor, an elder abuse conviction carries up to a year in jail.  But the crime may also be prosecuted as a felony, a conviction for which carries up to four years in California State Prison. Courts and prosecutors tend to take crimes against elderly victims especially seriously.

Penal Code 415 Disturbing the Peace

Stated in Penal Code 415 Penal Code 415, California "Disturbing the Peace" laws make it a crime to fight someone in public, to make unreasonable noise so as to disturb others, or to direct provocative "fighting words" towards another person in public. Disturbing the peace is considered a low-level misdemeanor, a conviction for which carries a maximum of 90 days in jail. In some cases, it can also be treated as an infraction.

Prosecutors are often willing to "reduce" domestic battery charges to disturbing the peace as part of a plea bargain agreement. Defendants often like this arrangement because Penal Code 415 doesn't carry the stigma and penalties of a domestic violence charge. Also, if the charge gets reduced to a disturbing the peace infraction, no criminal record is generated...it's comparable to a parking ticket.

Img-domestic-violence243e1-2
3. Lesser  Included and Related Offenses to
Domestic Battery

Obviously, prosecutors aren't always able to obtain  convictions on alleged offenses.  Sometimes, however, they may still prevail on a lesser included  offense.
A "lesser included offense" is one whose elements are  contained in the more serious alleged offense.  The crimes of assault and battery are lesser included offenses of Penal  Code 243(e)(1) domestic battery.

Penal  Code 240 Assault

A Penal Code  240 pc assault takes place when you perform an act that is likely to result  in the application of force to another.12 In order to be convicted of assault, you  don't actually need to make contact with the other person. You just have to  make the attempt and have the ability to actually do so.

If you do make  contact, you ultimately have a battery... which is why an assault is a lesser  included offense of domestic battery.  You can't commit domestic abuse without first attempting to do so, i.e. committing  an assault.

Penal  Code 242 Battery

Penal Code 242  pc battery is simply defined as unlawfully touching another.13 It is the same offense as domestic battery PC  243(e)(1) minus the added requirement that the person whom you injure must be  an intimate partner. As a result, it is  a lesser included offense of domestic abuse.

Related  offenses

Although we most often think of domestic abuse as acts that take place  between adults involved in sexual or romantic relationships, it's actually much  broader than that. California's domestic violence laws also  include acts that you commit against (1) your child, or (2) a child with whom  you are or were living.14

As a result, if you willfully inflict force or violence upon a child falling  within this category, you may be prosecuted for both Penal Code 243(e)(1) domestic  violence and Penal Code  273d child abuse.15

Similarly if, for example, you are being prosecuted for beating your wife in  front of your child, the District Attorney will likely prosecute you for  domestic battery and foR Penal Code 273a  child endangerment.16

Along these same lines, if you permit your child to remain in a home where  domestic violence takes place... even if you are the victim of the domestic abuse... you  may subject yourself to a child endangerment allegation.

4. How do Prosecutors Prove that I  Committed a California Domestic Battery under Penal Code section 243 (e) (1) pc?

In order to convict you of spousal battery under Penal Code 243(e)(1),  prosecutors must prove the following three facts (otherwise known as "elements  of the crime"):

  1. that you willfully inflicted
  2. force or violence
  3. upon your intimate partner.17

Let's take a closer look at exactly what this means.

Willful

"Willful" means with a purpose or willingness to commit the  act. Willful does not necessarily mean  that you (1) intend to violate the law, or (2) intend to cause injury to  another.18

For example: John and Katie are  involved in a heated argument in their Santa    Monica home.  Katie picks up a vase and throws it at the wall. When it breaks, one of the pieces of glass  ricochets off the wall and pierces John's arm.

Although hitting John with the glass was an accident, Katie  "willfully" threw the vase against the wall.  Katie acted willfully even  though she didn't intend to hit or injure John.

Force  or violence

The words "force or violence" mean the same thing with  respect to domestic battery under section 243(e)(1) pc of the California Penal  Code. These terms refer to any illegal  physical contact inflicted upon your intimate partner.

It is important to understand that the resulting contact  doesn't need to cause pain or harm... even the slightest touch will do if done in a  disrespectful or angry manner.19

For example, Steve and Becky are  arguing outside a Los Angeles  restaurant. Becky is so angry with Steve  that she pushes him up against their car.  Although Steve isn't hurt, he is offended by the behavior. Los Angeles  prosecutors could file spousal battery against Becky based on her violent  physical contact.

Upon  your intimate partner

"Upon" means to touch.  To "touch" your intimate partner (for purposes of domestic battery) means  to touch

  • your intimate partner's body,
  • his/her clothing, or
  • something attached to or closely connected to him/her.20

Examples

  • Touching your intimate  partner's body -             Bill slaps Natalie in the face.
  • Touching your intimate  partner's clothing -            Bill grabs Natalie by her shirt.
  • Touching something attached to or closely connected to your  intimate partner - Bill  purposely knocks the glass of wine out of Natalie's hand.

Less obvious examples of this third type of touching  include:

Bill smashing the windshield of  Natalie's car as she threatens to drive away, and

Bill, furious at Natalie, kicks  her dog while she is walking it on a leash.

In both examples above, Bill applied force to things that  were closely connected to Natalie. Even  though he didn't touch Natalie, Bill  could be prosecuted for domestic battery in both instances.

5. Prior Acts  of Domestic Violence

As a general rule of California  law, your prior criminal acts are excluded from your pending criminal charges.21 This is because a jury is supposed to judge  you solely on the facts of the case before it.  Knowing that you have a criminal history may unfairly bias jurors  against you.

That said, prior acts of domestic abuse... including acts of  child abuse or child endangerment... provide an exception to this rule.

This means that the judge may allow the prosecutor to  introduce any prior allegations that  you engaged in acts of domestic violence, even if you were never convicted of  those allegations.

These prior acts don't have to involve the same victim or bear  any other resemblance to your pending case.

But before a judge will allow the prosecutor to introduce  prior acts of domestic battery, he/she will conduct a hearing. Issues that the judge will consider include

  • whether the proposed evidence will unduly prejudice the  jury,
  • whether there is any corroborating evidence, and
  • how much time has elapsed between the prior acts and the  pending case.22

If the judge determines that your prior acts are admissible,  it may be easier for the prosecutor to prove that you committed domestic  battery simply because someone accused you of doing so in the past.

However, the judge will instruct the jury that the prior  acts are not by themselves sufficient to find you guilty and that they are  simply one factor to consider when deliberating on the case.

Because prior acts of domestic battery are frequently  admissible in pending cases, it is critical for anyone who has previously been  accused of D.V. to consult with a California  domestic violence defense lawyer immediately upon arrest.

An attorney who specializes in this area of the law knows  the most effective arguments to convince the court that this type of evidence  is unconstitutional and must be excluded.

6. Penalties,  Punishment and Sentencing for Misdemeanor Domestic Battery

If you are convicted of Penal Code 243(e)(1) pc California domestic abuse, you face the  following penalties23

  • up to  one year in the county jail
  • a  maximum $2,000 fine
  • informal  (otherwise known as summary) probation for up to three years

If  probation is granted, (which is typical with this offense) the court will require you to successfully  complete a minimum one-year batterer's program.24 The court may also require (in lieu of the maximum $2,000 fine),

  1. that you pay a maximum of $5,000 to a battered women's shelter, and/or
  2. that you reimburse the accuser for

    • (a) reasonable fees associated with any therapy, and/or
    • (b) any other reasonable expenses that were incurred as a  result of the abuse. Examples may include  medical expenses and/or property repairs.25

Your  financial circumstances will be taken into consideration before the judge  imposes any of the monetary penalties listed above.26

If  probation is granted and you have a  prior conviction for another Penal Code 243e1, the judge will require you to  serve a minimum of 48 hours in the county jail.27

And just to compare...

If you are convicted of aggravated battery or Penal Code 273.5 intentional  infliction of corporal injury on spouse or cohabitant as felonies, you face  two-to-four years in the California  State Prison.28

Additionally, if the accuser suffered a great bodily injury, you would  likely face an even greater prison sentence and the offense may be considered a  violent felony.29 A "violent felony" conviction subjects you to  a "strike" on your record pursuant to California's Three Strikes  Law.30

7. How do  I Fight a California Penal Code 243 (e) (1)  Domestic Battery Allegation?

There are a variety of defenses that apply to domestic  battery. Below are some of the most  common that a skilled California  domestic violence defense attorney can present on your behalf.

  • Self-defense / Defense of others
  • California self-defense laws (and defense of others) apply when you have a reasonable belief that you or someone you want to protect will  suffer serious harm if you don't fight back.31 Let me give you  three examples to illustrate this point.

    Dan is  upset with Billy, his son, and begins hitting him in their Beverly Hills home. Sheri, Billy's mother, tries to intervene by  pushing Dan so that Billy can get away. A Beverly Hills  criminal attorney could argue that Sheri pushed Dan in lawful defense of  her son. But...

    After the risk of danger  disappears, you must stop your use of force.  If you don't, you won't be able to assert this defense.32

    Using  the same example, if Billy gets away from Dan but Sheri continues pushing,  shoving or hitting Dan, Sheri's Beverly    Hills criminal attorney will not prevail under a "defense  of others" theory. Because (under this  example) Sheri's attack went beyond the scope of defending Billy, prosecutors  could file California  domestic battery violations against both Dan and Sheri. And...

    The force you inflict must be  "reasonable" and not "excessive" under the circumstances.33

    If  instead of pushing Dan, Sheri shoots or stabs him, "defense of others" will  likely not apply. You are only permitted to use enough force to reasonably counter the  force being used against you or the person you're trying to protect.

  • Accident
  • This defense to Penal Code pc 243 (e) (1) domestic battery may  apply when no "will" to inflict force or violence exists.

    For example, Matt and his boyfriend  Chris are involved in an argument while walking to a store in Van Nuys. Matt trips on the sidewalk, lands on Chris  and breaks Chris's arm. Clearly, Matt  didn't have the "will" to injure Chris during that act, despite the fact that  they were fighting.

  • False allegations /  Innocence
  • Ventura County criminal  defense lawyer Darrel York34,  a former Glendale  Police Officer tells us "People are routinely wrongly arrested for spousal  battery based on allegations initiated out of anger, jealousy or revenge. This is a crime that... because of its emotional  and intense nature... is often based on false allegations. An arrest doesn't amount to guilt."

    8. Comparing Nevada's "Battery Domestic
    Violence" Law

    California and Nevada have similar simple domestic battery laws in that both states make it a misdemeanor to use unlawful physical force on a spouse, romantic partner, relative or roommate.  But the laws differ in how they're written and what penalties they carry:

    California domestic violence law spans two separate statutes:  PC 243(e)(1), reserved for more minor offenses, and PC 273.5 for incidents resulting in a traumatic condition.  In contrast, Nevada battery domestic violence law is all contained in NRS 200.485.

    NRS: CHAPTER 200 - CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON

    Furthermore, the maximum fines and jail-time for a conviction of California simple domestic battery is twice that of violating Nevada battery domestic violence law.  However, Nevada DV sentences also include mandatory community service.

    If you  got arrested, contact us for help...
    Img-call-for-help

    If you or loved one is charged with Penal Code 243e1 pc domestic battery and you are looking to hire an attorney for representation, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group. We can provide a free consultation in office or by phone. We have local offices in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Long Beach, Orange County, Ventura, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and throughout California.

    Additional  Resources:

    Los Angeles  County Batterer's Classes - A Court appointed list of batterer's classes throughout L.A. County

    SAFE (Stop Abuse For Everyone) - Stop  Abuse For Everyone (SAFE) promotes services for all victims and accountability  for all perpetrators

    National Domestic Violence Hotline - Crisis  intervention, safety planning, information about domestic violence and  referrals to local service providers

    Legal  References:

    1 California Penal Code 242 - Battery  defined. ("A battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence  upon the person of another.")

    See also California  Penal Code 243 pc - [Domestic] battery; punishment. ("[243] (e) (1) When  a battery is committed against a spouse, a person with whom the defendant is  cohabiting, a person who is the parent of the defendant's child, former spouse,  fiancé, or fiancée, or a person with whom the defendant currently has, or has  previously had, a dating or engagement relationship, the battery is punishable  by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in a  county jail for a period of not more than one year, or by both that fine and  imprisonment.")

    2 See same.

    3 See same.

    4 Judicial  Council Of California Criminal Jury  Instruction 841- Simple Battery:  Against Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (Penal Code 243(e)(1)). ("The slightest touching  can be enough to commit a [domestic] battery if it is done in a rude or angry  way. Making contact with another person, including through his or her clothing,  is enough. The touching does not have to cause pain or injury of any  kind.") See also

    People v. Rocha, (1971) 3 Cal.3d  893, 900 ("‘It has long been established, both in tort and criminal law, that  the least touching' may constitute battery. In other words, force against the person is enough, it need not be violent or severe, it need not  cause bodily harm or even pain, and it need not leave any mark.'")

    5 See California Penal Code 243 (e) (1) domestic  battery, endnote 1, above.

    6 California Penal Code 243 (d) -  Aggravated battery. ("d) When a battery is committed against any person and  serious bodily injury is inflicted on the person, the battery is punishable by  imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment in the  state prison for two, three, or four years.")

    7 See same.

    8 Judicial  Council Of California Criminal Jury  Instruction 925 - Battery Causing  Serious Bodily Injury (Pen. Code, §§ 242, 243(d)). ("[A serious bodily injury means a serious impairment of physical condition.  Such an injury may include[, but is not limited to]: (loss of consciousness/  concussion/ bone fracture/ protracted loss or impairment of function of any  bodily member or organ/ a wound requiring extensive suturing/ [and] serious  disfigurement).]")

    9 California Penal Code  273.5 - Willful infliction of corporal injury; violation;  punishment - commonly known as spousal abuse.  ("(a) Any person who  willfully inflicts upon a person who is his or her spouse, former spouse,  cohabitant, former cohabitant, or the mother or father of his or her child,  corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition, is guilty of a felony, and  upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison  for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not more than one year,  or by a fine of up to six thousand dollars ($6,000) or by both that fine and  imprisonment.")

    10 See same.

    11 See  same, subdivision "c". ("(c) As used in this  section, "traumatic condition" means a condition of the body, such as a wound  or external or internal injury, whether of a minor or serious nature, caused by  a physical force.")

    12 California  Penal Code 240 - Assault defined. ("An assault is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present  ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.")

    13 See California Penal Code 242 - battery,  endnote 1, above.

    14 California Family Code 6211 - Domestic violence. ("‘Domestic violence' is abuse perpetrated  against any of the following persons: (b) A  cohabitant or former cohabitant, as defined in Section 6209... (e)  A child of a party... ")

    See also California Family Code 6209 - Cohabitant. ("‘Cohabitant' means a person who regularly  resides in the household. "Former cohabitant" means a person who formerly regularly  resided in the household.")

    15 California Penal Code 273d - Corporal punishment or injury of child;  felony; punishment; enhancement for prior conviction; conditions of probation  "child abuse". ("(a) Any person who willfully inflicts upon a child any cruel or  inhuman corporal punishment or an injury resulting in a traumatic condition is  guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison  for two, four, or six years, or in a county jail for not more than one year, by  a fine of up to six thousand dollars ($6,000), or by both that imprisonment and  fine."

    16 California Penal Code 273a - Willful harm or injury to child;  endangering person or health; punishment; conditions of probation - child  endangerment.  ("(a)  Any person who, under circumstances or conditions likely to produce great  bodily harm or death, willfully causes or permits any child to suffer, or  inflicts thereon unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or having the  care or custody of any child, willfully causes or permits the person or health  of that child to be injured, or willfully causes or permits that child to be  placed in a situation where his or her person or health is endangered, shall be punished by imprisonment  in a county jail not exceeding one year, or in the [California] state prison  for two, four, or six years.  (b) Any person who, under circumstances or conditions other than those  likely to produce great bodily harm or death, willfully causes or permits any  child to suffer, or inflicts thereon unjustifiable physical pain or mental  suffering, or having the care or custody of any child, willfully causes or  permits the person or health of that child to be injured, or willfully causes  or permits that child to be placed in a situation where his or her person or  health may be endangered, is guilty of a misdemeanor.")

    17 California Jury Instructions—Criminal 16.140.1- Battery Against Spouse, etc. ("In order to prove this  crime, each of the following elements must be proved: [1] A person used force  or violence upon __________; [2] The use was willful [and unlawful]; and [3] At  the time of the use of force or violence, __________ was [[his] [her]  __________] [an individual with whom the defendant currently has, or has  previously had, a dating or engagement relationship].")

    18 Judicial  Council Of California Criminal Jury Instruction 841- Simple  Battery: Against Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (Domestic battery, Penal  Code pc 243(e)(1)). ("Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it  willingly or on purpose. It is not required that he or she intend to break the  law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage.")

    19 See endnote 4, above.

    20 Judicial  Council Of California Criminal Jury Instruction 841- Simple  Battery: Against Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent (Domestic battery, Penal  Code 243(e)(1)). ("[The touching can be  done indirectly by causing an object [or someone else] to touch the other  person.]")

    See California Evidence  Codes 1101 and 352. California Evidence Code 1101 - Evidence of character to  prove conduct. ("(a) Except as provided  in this section and in [California Evidence Code] Sections 1102, 1103, 1108,  and 1109, evidence of a person's character or a trait of his or her character  (whether in the form of an opinion, evidence of reputation, or evidence of  specific instances of his or her conduct) is inadmissible when offered to prove  his or her conduct on a specified occasion.")

    California  Evidence Code 352 - Discretion of court to exclude evidence. ("The court in its discretion may exclude evidence if its probative  value is substantially outweighed by the probability that its admission will  (a) necessitate undue consumption of time or (b) create substantial danger of undue prejudice, of confusing the issues,  or of misleading the jury.") Italics  added.

    22 See same.

    23 See California Penal Code 243 (e) (1),  endnote 1, above.

    24 California  Penal Code 243 - [Domestic] battery; punishment. ("[243] (e) (1) If  probation is granted, or the execution or imposition of the sentence is suspended,  it shall be a condition thereof that the defendant participate in, for no less  than one year, and successfully complete, a batterer's treatment program, as  defined in Section 1203.097, or if none is available, another appropriate  counseling program designated by the court.")

    25 See  same. ("(2) Upon conviction of a violation of this [domestic  violence] subdivision, if probation is granted, the conditions of probation may  include, in lieu of a fine, one or both of the following requirements: (A)  That the defendant make payments to a battered women's shelter, up to a maximum  of five thousand dollars ($5,000). (B)  That the defendant reimburse the victim for reasonable costs of counseling and  other reasonable expenses that the court finds are the direct result of the  defendant's offense.")

    26 See same. ("For any order to  pay a fine, make payments to a battered women's shelter, or pay restitution as  a condition of probation under this [California domestic battery] subdivision,  the court shall make a determination of the defendant's ability to pay.")

    27 See same. ("(3) Upon  conviction of a violation of this subdivision [referencing California's  domestic battery law], if probation is granted or the execution or imposition  of the sentence is suspended and the person has been previously convicted of a  violation of this subdivision and sentenced under paragraph (1), the person  shall be imprisoned for not less than 48 hours in addition to the conditions in  paragraph (1).")

    28 See endnotes 6 and 9, above.

    29 California Penal Code 12022.7 sets forth  the terms of imprisonment if you inflict great bodily injury on another while  committing or attempting to commit a felony.  Depending on the extent of the injury and on the age/physical/mental  condition of the victim, you face an additional three to six-year prison  sentence for causing another great bodily injury.

    30 California Penal Code  667.5 - Prior prison terms; enhancement of prison terms for  new offenses. ("(c) For the purpose  of this section, "violent felony" shall mean any of the following: (8)  Any felony in which the defendant inflicts great bodily injury on any person  other than an accomplice... ") See also
    California Penal Code 667 - Habitual criminals;  enhancement of sentence; amendment of section (otherwise known as California's Three  Strikes Law). ("(b) It is the intent of  the Legislature in enacting subdivisions (b) to (i), inclusive, to ensure  longer prison sentences and greater punishment for those who commit a felony  and have been previously convicted of serious and/or violent felony offenses.")

    31 Judicial  Council Of California Criminal Jury Instruction 3470 - Right to Self-Defense or Defense of Another (Non-Homicide [with respect  to acts involving California  domestic battery]). ("The defendant acted in  lawful (self-defense/ [or] defense of another) if: [1] The defendant reasonably  believed that (he/she/ [or] someone else/ [or] <insert name of third  party>) was in imminent danger of suffering bodily injury [or was in  imminent danger of being touched unlawfully]; [2] The defendant reasonably  believed that the immediate use of force was necessary to defend against that  danger; AND [3] The defendant used  no more force than was reasonably necessary to defend against that danger.")

    32 Judicial  Council Of California  Criminal Jury Instruction 3474 - Danger No Longer  Exists or Attacker Disabled. ("The right to use force  in (self-defense/[or] defense of another) continues only as long as the danger  exists or reasonably appears to exist. [When the attacker (withdraws/[or] no  longer appears capable of inflicting any injury), then the right to use force  ends.]")

    33 See element three in endnote 24, above.

    34 As a Ventura  County criminal defense lawyer, Darrel  York practices extensively at the Ventura  County Hall of Justice, but also represents clients in the San Fernando  Valley, Pasadena, Burbank,  and Glendale.

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