Corporal Injury on a Spouse or Cohabitant
(Penal Code 273.5 PC)

 

California Penal Code 273.5 makes it a crime to willfully inflict "corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant."1 “Corporal injury” means any physical injury, whether serious or minor.2

Penal Code 273.5 is a crime of domestic violence in California. Other than the fact that it requires an actual injury, this section is similar to California Penal Code 243(e)(1) PC, domestic battery.

Who is considered an “intimate partner”?

Under Penal Code 273.5, an “intimate partner” is defined as:

  • The defendant's spouse or former spouse,
  • The defendant's current or former registered domestic partner,
  • The defendant's cohabitant or former cohabitant (live-in partner),
  • The defendant's current or former fiancé(e)
  • A person with whom the defendant has, or used to have, a serious dating relationship, or
  • The father or mother of the defendant's child.3

Examples of corporal injury 

  • A man squeezes his ex-wife's arm hard enough to leave bruises.
  • A woman pushes her boyfriend into a glass cabinet, leaving him with cuts all over his body.
  • A man punches and kicks his live-in boyfriend, leaving the boyfriend with a broken rib.

Other names for Penal Code 273.5

California Penal Code 273.5 is often referred to by a variety of names. Some of the most common include:

  • Corporal injury on a spouse,
  • Corporal injury on an intimate partner,
  • Corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant,
  • Domestic violence,
  • Domestic abuse,
  • Willful infliction of corporal injury,
  • Intentional infliction of corporal injury, and/or
  • Spousal abuse.

Penalties for corporal injury on a spouse in California

PC 273.5 is a California “wobbler” offense. This means the prosecutor has the discretion to charge it as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on

  • The facts of the case, and
  • The defendant's criminal history (if any).

Potential penalties are as indicated in the following chart:

Type of Penal Code 273.5 conviction

Possible penalty

Misdemeanor conviction

  • Up to 1 year in county jail, and/or
  • A fine of up to $6,000.4

Felony conviction

  • 2, 3 or 4 years in state prison, and/or
  • A fine of up to six thousand dollars ($6,000).5

Conviction within 7 years of a conviction for:

  • Corporal injury on a spouse, PC 273.5,
  • Assault/battery resulting in serious bodily injury, PC 243(d)
  • Assault/battery w/caustic chemical PC 244,
  • Assault w/ a stun gun, PC 244.5,
  • Assault w/ a deadly weapon, PC 245, or
  • Sexual battery, PC 243.4.
  • Up to 1 year in county jail, or
  • 2, 4, or 5 years in state prison; and/or
  • A fine of up to $10,000.6

Conviction within 7 years of a conviction for

  • Battery on a spouse, PC 243(e)
  • Up to 1 year in county jail, or
  • 2, 3, or 4 years in state prison; and/or
  • A fine of up to $10,000.7 

Additional consequences of a conviction

If prosecuted as a felony, a domestic violence conviction carries additional consequences such as:

  • Loss of the right to own a firearm, and
  • The potential loss of a professional license (such as the right to practice law).8 

For more information, please see our article on the Consequences of a Felony Conviction in California.

Moreover, as a crime of domestic violence, a conviction can lead to serious immigration consequences for non-U.S. citizens – including possible deportation.9

Legal defenses

Legal defenses to PC 273.5 corporal injury charges often include taking the position that:

To help you better understand the crime of corporal injury on a spouse, our California criminal defense lawyers discuss, below:

man holding bruised and cut face of a scared woman

1. The legal definition of California PC 273.5, “Corporal Injury on a Spouse”

Penal Code 273.5 is California's law on “corporal injury on a spouse or intimate partner.” A person violates PC 273.5 when:

  1. He or she willfully inflicts a physical injury,
  2. On a current or former intimate partner, and
  3. The physical injury results in a “traumatic condition.”10

Let's take a closer look at these terms and related concepts to get a better sense of when PC 273.5 applies.

The meaning of "willfully"

A person acts "willfully" when he or she does something intentionally. The person does not need to have intended to break the law.11

Example: During an argument over child custody, Rob grabs Maureen's arm and twists it. His intent is simply to intimidate her, but he dislocates her elbow.

Rob did not intend to cause Maureen such a serious injury. But he did act willingly when he twisted her arm. Therefore, he may be guilty of PC 273.5

"Traumatic condition"

A traumatic condition is defined as any wound or other bodily injury caused by the direct application of physical force. It does not need to be serious -- a minor wound or injury will suffice.12

Some examples of injuries that are “traumatic conditions” for purposes of California's intentional infliction of corporal injury law are:

  • A broken bone,
  • A concussion,
  • Internal bleeding,
  • A sprain,
  • A bruise, or
  • Injuries arising from suffocation or strangulation.

The traumatic condition must be the result of direct physical force

To prove a case under Penal Code 273.5, the prosecutor must show that the defendant's actions caused the victim to suffer a traumatic condition.13

A traumatic condition is considered to be the result of an injury if:

  1. The traumatic condition was a natural and probable result of the injury;
  2. The injury was a direct and substantial cause of the traumatic condition; AND
  3. The condition would not have happened without the injury.14
Example: Kim hears that her boyfriend Saul has been seeing another woman. She confronts him outside of his apartment. Their conversation turns into an argument, and Kim pushes Saul several times.
Saul turns to walk away from Kim but he trips and falls. He ends up with cuts on his leg from the fall.
Kim is not guilty of Penal Code 273.5 corporal injury—because Saul's “traumatic condition” (his cuts) is the result of his walking away and not of her pushing him.15

The legal definition of “intimate partner”

Penal Code 273.5 requires an injury to an intimate partner. For purposes of PC 273.5, “intimate partner” includes a current or former:

  • Spouse,
  • Registered domestic partner,
  • Live-in boyfriend or girlfriend (a “cohabitant”),
  • Fiancé(e),
  • Parent of the defendant's child, or
  • Person with whom the defendant has a serious “dating relationship.”16

Factors that may determine whether people are cohabiting (living together) include, but are not limited to:

  • Sexual relations between the parties while sharing the same residence, 
  • Sharing of income or expenses, 
  • Joint use or ownership of property, 
  • The parties' holding themselves out as in a serious relationship, 
  • The continuity of the relationship, and 
  • The length of the relationship.17

Note that for purposes of California domestic violence law, it is possible for a defendant to cohabit (live with) more than one person at the same time.18

Example: Nelson and Paul lease an apartment together. Nelson then gets romantically involved with Alfred and moves in with him.
But he and Paul still continue their romantic relationship. Nelson spends several nights a week at the apartment he and Paul leased. He has his own key and uses that address for his official mail.
Even though Nelson primarily lives with Paul, Nelson is considered to be “cohabiting” with Alfred as well.19
Gay man with arm around his partner's shoulder
Gay people are subject to the same California domestic violence laws as heterosexual couples

2. Penalties under Penal Code 273.5

Penal Code 273, corporal injury on a spouse, is a California “wobbler” offense. This means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, in the prosecutor's discretion.20 The prosecutor's choice will depend on:

  1. The facts of the case, and
  2. The defendant's criminal history.

A felony is more likely to be charged if:

  • The injuries to the intimate partner are very serious, and/or
  • The defendant has a history of domestic violence complaints or other aggressive acts.

2.1. Misdemeanor penalties for corporal injury on an intimate partner

Misdemeanor penalties for willful infliction of corporal injury can include:

  • Up to one (1) year in county jail, and/or
  • A fine of up to $6,000.21

Alternatively, the judge might sentence the defendant to misdemeanor (summary) probation instead of jail time (discussed in Section 2.5., below).

2.2. Felony penalties for PC 273.5

Basic felony penalties for corporal injury on an intimate partner under PC 273.5 are:

  • Two (2), three (3) or four (4) years in state prison, and/or
  • A fine of up to $6,000.22

In appropriate cases, the judge may instead sentence the defendant to California felony (formal) probation (discussed in Section 2.5., below).

2.3. Felony penalties for PC 273.5 with prior convictions

Penal Code 273.5 is a "wobbler" offense, even if the defendant has a prior conviction for domestic violence or assault.

But the penalties for a felony violation of PC 273.5 can be increased if the defendant has been convicted within the prior seven (7) years for:

  • Corporal injury on a spouse, PC 273.5,
  • Assault/battery resulting in serious bodily injury, PC 243(d),
  • Assault/battery with a caustic chemical PC 244,
  • Assault with a stun gun, PC 244.5,
  • Assault with a deadly weapon, PC 245,
  • Sexual battery, PC 243.4, or
  • Battery on a spouse, PC 243(e).

Prior conviction for battery on a spouse

If the prior conviction is for Penal Code 243(e) battery of a spouse, felony penalties for corporal injury of a spouse increase to:

  • 2, 3, or 4 years in state prison; and/or
  • A fine of up to $10,000.23

Prior conviction for other assault & battery or corporal injury

If the prior conviction is one of the offenses listed above (other than battery on a spouse), felony penalties under PC 273.5 can increase to:

  • 2, 4, or 5 years in state prison; and/or
  • A fine of up to $10,000.24

2.4. Corporal injury with "great bodily injury" (Penal Code 12022.7 sentence enhancement)

Someone who seriously injures an intimate partner may face a "great bodily injury" sentencing enhancement under California Penal Code 12022.7 PC.

For purposes of PC 12022.7, “great bodily injury” is defined as any “significant or substantial physical injury.”25

A PC 12022.7 enhancement adds an additional and consecutive sentence of:

  • Three, four, or five years in state prison.26
outside of a state prison

2.5. Probation for a California Penal Code 273.5 conviction

California judges sometimes have the discretion to suspend imposition of a domestic violence sentence and give the defendant probation instead.27 Probation in California can be either of two types, depending on whether the charge was a misdemeanor or a felony:

Misdemeanor (summary) probation typically lasts for between one and three years.

Felony (formal) probation lasts longer (usually three to five years) and may include serving up to a year in county jail. It will typically be granted only when the defendant is a first-time offender or there are significant "mitigating factors."

For more information on such factors, please see our article on "California Felony Sentencing."

Probation conditions

As a condition of remaining out of jail, defendants on probation -- both misdemeanor and felony -- will be required to comply with certain conditions. These can include:

  • Paying a fine,
  • Paying victim restitution to reimburse the victim for counseling and other reasonable expenses,
  • Paying up to $5,000 to a battered woman's shelter,
  • Attending a batterer's treatment program,
  • Completing community service or Caltrans roadside work,
  • Not violating any laws, 
  • Complying with a restraining order or protective order that prohibits contact with the victim for up to ten (10) years, and/or
  • A minimum jail stay of:
    • 15-days if the defendant has a prior conviction in the past seven years for an offense involving assault or domestic violence, or
    • 60-days if the defendant has two (2) or more of such priors.

What happens if the defendant violates probation?

If the defendant fails to comply with any conditions of probation, the judge will schedule a probation violation hearing. If the violation is proved, the judge can then:

  • Continue probation as before,
  • Impose newer (often harsher) conditions, or
  • Revoke probation and send the defendant to jail or prison to serve up to the maximum sentence.
group of people sitting in chairs in a counseling session
Some Penal Code 273.5 offenders may receive counseling instead of jail time

2.6. Immigration consequences of a PC 273.5 conviction

Corporal injury on an intimate partner is a crime of domestic violence under federal immigration law.28 As a result, Penal Code 273.5 is a “deportable crime.”29

In some situations, PC 273.5 may also qualify as a so-called “crime involving moral turpitude” (“CMIT”) and/or an “aggravated felony.”30

Both of these categories of offenses are "inadmissible crimes." Consequences of an inadmissible crime in California can include (without limitation):

  • No right to re-enter the country after leaving,
  • No possibility of becoming a US citizen, and
  • No right to apply for a green card or an "adjustment of status" -- that is, a change from illegal to legal immigration status.31

2.7. PC 273.5 with great bodily injury is a "strike" offense

If a Penal Code 273.5 offense results in “great bodily injury” to the victim, it is both:

Someone who is convicted of a serious felony and later charged with any felony will be considered a “second striker.” A second striker faces a sentence that is twice as long as the penalty otherwise required by law.33 And if the defendant has two prior strike offenses, any subsequent felony conviction can lead to a sentence of twenty-five years to life.34

For more information, we invite you to read our article on Penal Code 1192.7(c), California's “Three Strikes” law.

3. Legal defenses to PC 273.5 corporal injury

California criminal defense lawyers have a variety of strategies to get Penal Code 273.5 charges dismissed or reduced. While every case is unique, some common legal defenses that might be argued include:

  • The defendant was acting in self-defense or defense of someone else;
  • The defendant did not willfully injury the victim; and/or
  • The defendant is being falsely accused.

Let's take a closer look at each of these defenses.

You may also wish to read our article on Common Legal Defenses to California Criminal Offenses.

3.1. Self-defense/defense of others

The legal defense of self-defense/defense of others applies when all of the following are true:
  1. The defendant reasonably believed that he/she or someone else was in imminent danger of bodily injury;
  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.35

A defendant who proves all of the above facts should be found not guilty of corporal injury on an intimate partner.

Example: Michelle catches her husband Jason in bed with her sister Leah. Furious, Michelle grabs a kitchen knife and comes at Leah with it.
In order to restrain Michelle, Jason is forced to wrestle her to the ground. In doing so, he causes her to hit her head.
But Michelle still won't drop the knife. In danger of being stabbed, Jason chokes Michelle just long enough to get her to drop it. He should be able to argue that he was acting both in self-defense and in defense of Leah.

3.2. Lack of willfulness

A defendant is guilty under Penal Code 273.5 PC corporal injury only if he or she willfully injured the victim.

This means that an accidental injury -- even one that occurs during a heated argument -- is not enough.

A defendant in this situation may be able to get the prosecutor to dismiss the case. Or the defendant's attorney might get it reduced to a less serious offense, such as Penal Code 243(e)(1) domestic battery.

3.3. False accusation

California law enforcement takes allegations of domestic violence seriously. As a result, people are often wrongly arrested based upon false allegations. The allegations may be initiated out of anger, jealousy, or a desire for revenge.

An experienced California domestic violence defense lawyer can help fight such baseless allegations by:

  • Subpoenaing the accuser's emails, text messages and social networking accounts,
  • Interviewing the accuser and his/her family, friends, co-workers and online contacts, and
  • Conducting a thorough background check on the accuser and any alleged witnesses.

As West Covina criminal defense attorney John Murray36 explains:

"An investigation will often reveal that a domestic violence accuser has a hidden agenda. When we present the evidence to the prosecutor, the charges often get dropped or reduced through a plea bargain."
angry woman with her arms crossed
False accusations are common in Penal Code 273.5 corporal injury cases

4. What happens when a domestic violence accuser decides not to cooperate?

Often in domestic violence cases, the accuser decides not to testify or recants the allegations altogether. Unfortunately, this does not always mean the prosecutor will drop the charges.

Below are three most common scenarios we encounter and what they mean for a PC 273.5 defendant.

The accuser decides s/he wants to “drop the charges”

Sometimes in a Penal Code 273.5. prosecution, the “complaining witness” (victim) will decide not to “press charges.”

But prosecutors often assume that the alleged victim is dropping charges only because:

  • The victim is being threatened or coerced by the defendant, or
  • The victim is being emotionally manipulated by the defendant.37

As a result, there is a good chance that the prosecutor will charge the defendant anyway.

However, when there is a reluctant victim the charge is often more difficult to prosecute. According to Riverside criminal defense attorney Michael Scafiddi38 :

“When an alleged 'victim' doesn't want to cooperate, it makes the prosecutor's job much harder. As a result, we can often persuade the prosecutor to offer a more generous plea agreement or even to dismiss the case if the remaining evidence is weak.”

The accuser refuses to testify in court

Sometimes an alleged victim of domestic violence refuses to testify against the defendant at trial.

But the prosecutor has the “subpoena power” of the court. This means that the accuser can be forced to come to court and testify even if s/he does not want to.

The prosecutor must personally serve the witness with a subpoena to appear. If the witness still refuses, the judge can issue a “bench warrant” for his/her arrest.39

The accuser cannot be brought into court

Sometimes the accuser or another witness in a corporal injury case still cannot be made to appear. For instance, the individual may have gone into hiding or fled the jurisdiction.

In this situation, there is a good chance the prosecutor will not be able to continue with a Penal Code 273.5 case.

This is because of the “hearsay rule,” an important California evidence rule. Under Evidence Code 1200(a), “hearsay evidence” is evidence of a secondhand statement that was made:

  1. Other than by a witness on the record, and
  2. To prove the truth of the matter stated.
Example: Barbara tells her friend, Jack, that her ex-husband, Carl, hit her. Jack calls the police. Carl is arrested and charged with corporal injury on a spouse.
Before Carl's trial, Barbara disappears. Jack cannot testify in court that Barbara said Carl hit her.
That would be "hearsay" because (a) the statement was made out of court by someone else (Barbara) and (b) the statement would be used to prove the truth of the matter alleged (that Carl hit Barbara). 

A witness's out-of-court statements are excluded because the defendant must have a chance to confront and cross-examine opposing witnesses. Thus, with limited exceptions, hearsay evidence is inadmissible. 

So if the complaining witness cannot be brought into court, the case will often fall apart, resulting in a dismissal of the PC 273.5 charges.

5. Related offenses to PC 273.5

A number of California domestic violence offenses are often charged along with, or instead of, PC 273.5 corporal injury. Such charges include:

Penal Code 243(e)(1), domestic battery

Penal Code 243(e)(1), California's “domestic battery” law, prohibits harmful or offensive touching of an intimate partner. It is a less serious domestic violence offense than corporal injury under PC 273.5.

Unlike 273.5 PC, domestic battery does not require that the victim be actually injured in any way.

And unlike intentional infliction of corporal injury, domestic battery is a misdemeanor. Absent serious injury to the victim, potential punishment for domestic battery includes at most:

  • Up to one year in county jail, and
  • A fine of up to $2,000.40

Or the judge may grant probation, subject to completion of a batterer's treatment program and other conditions.41

As a result, domestic battery is often a desirable charge reduction and/or plea bargain to PC 273.5 charges.

Penal Code 415, disturbing the peace

Penal Code 415, California's "disturbing the peace" law, makes it a crime to:

  • Fight someone in public,
  • Make unreasonable noise so as to disturb others, or
  • Direct provocative "fighting words" toward another person in public.42

Prosecutors are often willing to "reduce" domestic violence charges to disturbing the peace as part of a plea bargain. This can be a great outcome for a defendant in a PC 273.5 case, because:

  • PC 415 doesn't carry the stigma, penalties, or immigration consequences of a domestic violence conviction, and
  • Disturbing the peace is considered a low-level misdemeanor or, in some cases, a (non-criminal) infraction.43

A conviction for disturbing the peace carries a maximum punishment of:

  • 90 days in jail, and/or
  • A fine of up to $400.44

Penal Code 368 elder abuse

Penal Code 368 PC, California's elder abuse law, makes it a crime to:

  1. Willfully or negligently,
  2. Impose unjustifiable physical pain and/or mental suffering,
  3. On a person who is 65 or older.45

Thus if the defendant's intimate partner is 65 or older, the defendant could be charged with either or both:

  • Penal Code 273.5, willful infliction of corporal injury or an intimate partner, and/or
  • Penal Code 368, elder abuse

PC 368 elder abuse is a wobbler.

Penalties for felony elder abuse in California

As a felony, the potential punishment for elder abuse in California is:

  • Two (2), three (3) or (4) years in state prison, and /or
  • A fine of up to six thousand dollars ($6,000).46

Penalties for elder abuse increase if the victim suffers great bodily injury or death, especially if the victim is 70 years of age or older.47

Punishment for misdemeanor elder abuse in California

As a misdemeanor, elder abuse can be punished by:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail, and/or
  • A fine of up to $1,000.48

California child abuse laws

California child abuse charges often go hand-in-hand with domestic violence laws.

A defendant who has minor children and is accused of intentional infliction of corporal injury on an intimate partner may also face prosecution for Penal Code 273a child endangerment.

In most case, this offense is a misdemeanor. But it can be charged as a felony if the defendant put the child at risk of great bodily injury or death.49 

Accused of domestic violence in California? Call us for help…

female receptionist with headset

If you have been charged with Penal Code 273.5, we invite you to contact our California domestic violence attorneys for a free consultation.

Call us at 855-LawFirm to discuss your situation in confidence with a caring and experienced lawyer.

We have local criminal law offices in and around Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities.

Additionally, our Reno and Las Vegas offices may be able to help if you have been accused of violating Nevada's laws on domestic violence.

¿Habla español? Visite nuestro sitio Web en español sobre el delito de la lesión corporal a su pareja intima en California.


 Legal references:

  1. California Penal Code 273.5(a): "Any person who willfully inflicts corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition upon a victim described in subdivision (b) 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."  See also California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) 840. Inflicting Injury on Spouse, Cohabitant, or Fellow Parent Resulting in Traumatic Condition.
  2. Penal Code 273.5(d): "As used in this section, “traumatic condition” means a condition of the body, such as a wound, or external or internal injury, including, but not limited to, injury as a result of strangulation or suffocation, whether of a minor or serious nature, caused by a physical force. For purposes of this section,'strangulation' and 'suffocation' include impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of a person by applying pressure on the throat or neck." See also CALCRIM 840, endnote 1: "A traumatic condition is a wound or other bodily injury, whether minor or serious, caused by the direct application of physical force."
  3. Penal Code 273.5(b): "Subdivision (a) shall apply if the victim is or was one or more of the following: (1) The offender's spouse or former spouse. (2) The offender's cohabitant or former cohabitant. (3) The offender's fiancé or fiancée, or someone with whom the offender has, or previously had, an engagement or dating relationship, as defined in paragraph (10) of subdivision (f) of Section 243. (4) The mother or father of the offender's child."

    See also Penal Code 243(f)(10): “Dating relationship” means frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affectional or sexual involvement independent of financial considerations.See also CALCRIM 840, endnote 1: "The term cohabitants means two unrelated persons living together for a substantial period of time, resulting in some permanency of the relationship. Factors that may determine whether people are cohabiting include, but are not limited to, (1) sexual relations between the parties while sharing the same residence, (2) sharing of income or expenses, (3) joint use or ownership of property, (4) the parties' holding themselves out as (spouses/domestic partners), (5) the continuity of the relationship, and (6) the length of the relationship."

  4. Penal Code 273.5(a), endnote 1.
  5. Same.
  6. Penal Code 273.5(f)(1): "Any person convicted of violating this section for acts occurring within seven years of a previous conviction under subdivision (a), or subdivision (d) of Section 243, or Section 243.4, 244, 244.5, or 245, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison for two, four, or five years, or by both imprisonment and a fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000)."
  7. Penal Code 273.5(f)(2): "Any person convicted of a violation of this section for acts occurring within seven years of a previous conviction under subdivision (e) of Section 243 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 ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine."
  8. See, e.g., California Business and Professions Code 6102 on attorney disbarment for a felony conviction.
  9. Immigration & Nationality Act (“INA”) 237 (codified at 8 U.S.Code 1227). See, in particular, 8 USC 1227(a)(2)(E)(i): "For purposes of this clause, the term “crime of domestic violence” means any crime of violence (as defined in section 16 of title 18) against a person committed by a current or former spouse of the person, by an individual with whom the person shares a child in common, by an individual who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the person as a spouse, by an individual similarly situated to a spouse of the person under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction where the offense occurs, or by any other individual against a person who is protected from that individual's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the United States or any State, Indian tribal government, or unit of local government."
  10. Penal Code 273.5(a), endnote 1. See also CALCRIM 840, endnote 1.
  11. CALCRIM 840, endnote 1: "Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose.”
  12. Same. "A traumatic condition is a wound or other bodily injury, whether minor or serious, caused by the direct application of physical force.” See also Penal Code 273.5(d): "As used in this section, “traumatic condition” means a condition of the body, such as a wound, or external or internal injury, including, but not limited to, injury as a result of strangulation or suffocation, whether of a minor or serious nature, caused by a physical force. For purposes of this section, 'strangulation' and 'suffocation' include impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of a person by applying pressure on the throat or neck.”
  13. Same. See also, People v. Gutierrez (1985) 171 Cal.App.3d 944.
  14. CALCRIM 840, endnote 1: “A traumatic condition is the result of an injury ]for purposes of Penal Code 273.5] if: 1 The traumatic condition was the natural and probable consequence of the injury; 2 The injury was a direct and substantial factor in causing the condition; AND 3 The condition would not have happened without the injury. A natural and probable consequence is one that a reasonable person would know is likely to happen if nothing unusual intervenes. In deciding whether a consequence is natural and probable, consider all of the circumstances established by the evidence. A substantial factor is more than a trivial or remote factor. However, it does not need to be the only factor that resulted in the traumatic condition.
  15. Based on the facts of People v. Jackson (2000) 77 Cal.App.4th 574.
  16. See endnote 3.
  17. Same.
  18. CALCRIM 840, endnote 1: "A person may cohabit simultaneously with two or more people at different locations, during the same time frame, if he or she maintains substantial ongoing relationships with each person and lives with each person for significant periods." See also People v. Moore (1996) 44 Cal.App.4th 1323. (“We conclude as a matter of law that for purposes of criminal liability under [Penal Code 243(e)(1), California's law against corporal injury on a spouse or intimate partner], a defendant may cohabit simultaneously with two or more people at different locations, during the same time frame, if he maintains substantial ongoing relationships with each and lives with each for significant periods.”)

  19. Based on the facts of People v. Moore, endnote 18.

  20. Penal Code 273.5(a), endnote 1.
  21. Same.
  22. Same.
  23. Penal Code 273.5(f)(2), endnote 7.
  24. Penal Code 273.5(f)(1), endnote 6.
  25. Penal Code 12022.7(f)" As used in this section, 'great bodily injury' means a significant or substantial physical injury.” See also CALCRIM 3163. Great Bodily Injury: Domestic Violence: "[great bodily injury] is an injury that is greater than minor or moderate harm."
  26. Penal Code 12022.7(e): “Any person who personally inflicts great bodily injury under circumstances involving domestic violence [including willful infliction of corporal injury on a spouse or domestic partner] in the commission of a felony or attempted felony shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for three, four, or five years. As used in this subdivision, 'domestic violence' has the meaning provided in subdivision (b) of Section 13700.” See also Penal Code 13700 (b): “Domestic violence” means abuse committed against an adult or a minor who is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or person with whom the suspect has had a child or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship. For purposes of this subdivision, “cohabitant” means two unrelated adult persons living together for a substantial period of time, resulting in some permanency of the relationship. Factors that may determine whether persons are cohabiting include, but are not limited to, (1) sexual relations between the parties while sharing the same living quarters, (2) sharing of income or expenses, (3) joint use or ownership of property, (4) whether the parties hold themselves out as spouses, (5) the continuity of the relationship, and (6) the length of the relationship."
  27. See e.g., Penal Code 1203 PC (a): "As used in this code, '“probation' means the suspension of the imposition or execution of a sentence and the order of conditional and revocable release in the community under the supervision of a probation officer. As used in this code, “conditional sentence” means the suspension of the imposition or execution of a sentence and the order of revocable release in the community subject to conditions established by the court without the supervision of a probation officer. It is the intent of the Legislature that both conditional sentence and probation are authorized whenever probation is authorized in any code as a sentencing option for infractions or misdemeanors."
  28. 8 U.S.C § 1227(a)(2)(E)(i). See also Marquez-Carillo v. Holder (9th Cir. 2015) No. 12-70779.
  29. Same.
  30. Morales-Garcia v. Holder (9th Cir. 2009) 567 F.3d 1058.
  31. 8 USC 1326(b)(2).(a): "As used in this section, 'serious felony' means any of the following… (8) any felony in which the defendant personally inflicts great bodily injury on any person, other than an accomplice…; See also Penal Code 667(a)(4): “As used in this subdivision, 'serious felony' means a serious felony listed in subdivision (c) of Section 1192.7 .”
  32. Penal Code 667(e): "For purposes of subdivisions (b) to (i), inclusive, and in addition to any other enhancement or punishment provisions which may apply, the following shall apply where a defendant has one or more prior serious and/or violent felony convictions [including Penal Code 273.5 PC willful infliction of corporal injury with great bodily injury]: (1) If a defendant has one prior serious and/or violent felony conviction as defined in subdivision (d) that has been pled and proved, the determinate term or minimum term for an indeterminate term shall be twice the term otherwise provided as punishment for the current felony conviction."
  33. Same.
  34. CALCRIM 3470. Right to Self-Defense or Defense of Another (Non-Homicide).
  35. Criminal defense John Murray defends clients accused of sex crimes throughout Orange County, the Pomona Valley, and Western San Bernardino County. He has been an expert legal commentator on Fox News Channel and has been named one of the "100 Best" criminal defense attorneys in the country by the National Trial Lawyers Association.
  36. See, e.g., Study shows why domestic violence victims drop charges, Reuters, Aug. 19, 2011.
  37. Criminal defense attorney Michael Scafiddi is a former officer with the Ontario and Banning police departments. He has been defending clients on sex crimes charges in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties for many decades and is on a first-name basis with prosecutors, judges, probation officers, and police detectives all over the Inland Empire.
  38. See Penal Code 1326 - 1332 PC.
  39. Evidence Code 1200(b).
  40. Penal Code 243(e)(1).
  41. Same.
  42. Penal Code 415 PC.
  43. See Penal Code 17 PC - Felony; misdemeanor; infraction; classification of offenses.
  44. Penal Code 415, endnote 42.
  45. Penal Code 368 PC.
  46. Same.
  47. See Penal Code 368(a)(2) and (3).
  48. Penal Code 19: "Except in cases where a different punishment is prescribed by any law of this state, every offense declared to be a misdemeanor is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both."
  49. Penal Code 273a PC.

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