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California domestic violence laws make it illegal to use physical force or to communicate threats of harm against an intimate partner.


Penal Code 273.5 pc Corporal Injury to a Spouse or Cohabitant — Penal Code 273.5 makes it illegal to inflict a “corporal injury” resulting in a “traumatic condition.” A person commits this crime by striking his/her intimate partner in some violent way and causing a visible injury, even a slight one such as swelling or a bruise. This charge can be filed as a felony or a misdemeanor. A felony carries a maximum of 3 years in prison and a misdemeanor carries a maximum of one year in the county jail.

Penal Code 243(e)(1) pc Domestic Battery — Penal Code 243(e)(1) makes it a misdemeanor crime to inflict force or violence on an intimate partner…a category that includes your fiancé, cohabitant, the parent of your child, or your current or former spouse or dating partner. This particular charge does not require any mark or injury on the alleged victim. Any unwanted touching (such as a slap) or a push (if done in an angry fashion) could be enough to violate this domestic violence law.

Penal Code 273d pc Child Abuse — Penal Code 273d makes it a crime to inflict “corporal punishment or injury” on a child if it was “cruel or inhuman” and caused an injury (even a slight injury). California child abuse laws allow a parent reasonable latitude to spank a child, but draw the line where the punishment is cruel or injures the child.

Penal Code 273a pc Child Endangerment — Penal Code 273a makes it a crime willfully to allow a child (in your care or custody) to suffer harm or to have his/her safety or health endangered. Circumstances in which people are charged with this crime are when someone drives drunk with their child in the car, leaves their child unattended in a dangerous situation.

Penal Code 422 pc Criminal Threats — Penal Code 422 makes it a crime to communicate a threat of serious harm to someone if (1) you intend to put the person in fear, and (2) you actually do put the person in sustained fear. Criminal Threats may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, the felony version is a strike.

If you are charged with Domestic Violence in Southern California, you are facing jail time, exclusion from your home, and a criminal record.

Even on a first domestic violence charge, you may be sentenced to 30 days of county jail time. Depending on the detail of your case, you may be sentenced to 60 or 90 days.

If you are charged with felony Domestic Violence, you can face a prison sentence of 16 months, 2 years or 3 years.


If you have been charged with any domestic violence, you need to contact an attorney. Please contact attorney Sue Sahami at the Law Offices of Sue Sahami in Santa Ana, CA or call for a free case evaluation at 📞 (714) 619-9349.

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