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:
4. How do Prosecutors Prove that I Committed a Domestic Battery under Penal Code
section 243 (e) (1) pc?
This photograph was originally taken by Flickr user zappowbang/Justin Henry and the original photo can be found here.
- 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.
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.
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:
- it can proceed with a simple domestic battery under 243 (e) (1),
- it can proceed under Penal Code 243 (d) aggravated battery, or
- 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.
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.
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"):
- that you willfully inflicted
- force or violence
- upon your intimate partner.17
Let's take a closer look at exactly what this means.
"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
- 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.
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.
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),
- that you pay a maximum of $5,000 to a battered women's shelter, and/or
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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."
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...
If you have additional questions or would like to discuss your domestic battery case confidentially with one of our California domestic violence defense attorneys, please don't hesitate to contact us.
We have local criminal law offices in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay area, San Jose, Orange County, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, and several surrounding areas.
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
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. (" (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:  A person used force or violence upon __________;  The use was willful [and unlawful]; and  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. (" (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:  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];  The defendant reasonably believed that the immediate use of force was necessary to defend against that danger; AND  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.