Los Angeles Lawyer for Corporal Injury to Spouse or Cohabitant – Penal Code 273.5(a) PC

The legal system in California uses "California Penal Code Section 273.5(a): Corporal Injury to a Spouse" to prosecute acts of physical violence against an intimate partner. PC 273.5(a) is one of the many different charges used to deal with cases of domestic violence in California.

Penal Code Section 273.5(a) PC: The Text

California Penal Code Section 273.5(a) PC makes it illegal to injure a spouse, cohabitant or fellow parent in an act of domestic violence. This offense is also referred to as domestic abuse, domestic violence, or corporal injury to a spouse. Here is the text of the law:

(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.

Source: FindLaw.com

Penal Code Section 273.5(a) PC: Explanation

PC 273.5(a) forbids individuals from causing a physical injury to an intimate partner. Under the law in Los Angeles, intimate partners can include an individual’s:

  • Current or Previous Spouse
  • Current or Previous Domestic Partner
  • Current or Previous Cohabitant
  • Current or Previous Fiancé
  • Current or Previous Series Girlfriend or Boyfriend

The parent of an individual’s child will also be considered an intimate partner under PC 273.5(a). Any act that causes physical harm can be viewed as a corporal injury in the state of California.

Related offenses:

  • California Penal Code Section 243(e) – Domestic Battery
  • California Penal Code Section 243(d) – Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury
  • California Penal Code Section 273a – Child Endangerment
  • California Penal Code Section 368 – Elder Abuse
  • California Penal Code Section 240 – Assault
  • California Penal Code Section 242 – Battery

Penal Code Section 273.5(a) PC: Punishments

The Penal Code Section 273.5(a) PC has the potential punishment of Imprisonment for a term of two, three, or four years, or up to one year in the county jail and a maximum fine amount of six thousand dollars. This crime is charged as a felony.

The prosecutor must “beyond a reasonable doubt” prove the following elements in order to obtain a guilty verdict in this case:

  • The defendant willfully inflicted corporal injury
  • On a spouse, ex-spouse, cohabitant, or the mother or father of his or her child
  • The corporal injury resulted in a “traumatic condition”
  • The defendant did not inflict the injury during an act of self-defense or defense of others.

Penal Code Section 273.5(a) PC: Legal Defenses

Building a defense against an accusation of corporal injury to a spouse is possible. Possible legal defenses to PC 273.5(a) can include arguing that:

  • Injuries Were Accidental
  • The Accusations are False
  • The Injuries Were a Result of Self-Defense

Building a defense for charges of causing corporal injury to a spouse can be difficult without professional legal help. If you, or a loved one, has a case related to California Penal Code Section 273.5(a), make sure to contact us through the number (818) 855-2115 or the form below for a Free Case Evaluation.