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What Is Domestic Battery?

Posted by Christopher Martens | Jan 11, 2016 | 0 Comments

Experienced Visalia Defense Lawyer

Domestic violence is an overreaching problem comprised of several different criminal charges under California law. The legal definition of domestic violence is quite broad, covering a wide range of actions under a variety of circumstances. Because of this ambiguity, domestic violence charges are often poorly understood. In the state of California, domestic violence is defined as a form of abuse committed against a spouse or former spouse, an intimate partner such as a girlfriend, boyfriend, or fiancé, someone you live with or have previously lived with, someone you have a child in common with, or that child, or someone you are related to through blood or marriage.

Domestic abuse is characterized as an intentional or reckless attempt to inflict bodily harm, sexually assault, or make a threat to harm. Domestic battery, also known as spousal battery, is one of California's domestic violence crimes. Domestic battery is the least serious of California's domestic violence crimes because the injury does not need to be present for the defendant to be convicted.

Have you been accused of domestic violence in Visalia? Protect your future by scheduling a case review with our defense attorneys.

Definition of Battery in California

Defined under California penal code 242: battery is the willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another. Physical harm or contact does not need to occur for charges to be made. Simply threatening any form of abuse can result in a criminal charge. Battery is a misdemeanor crime, punishable by up to six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000. Battery is a broad criminal category. Your sentencing will depend, in part, on who the victim was and, in some cases, your relationship to them. For example, battery against a protected citizen, such as a police officer, firefighter, or paramedic, can result in a longer jail sentence of up to one year. As well, if the battery actually results in serious bodily injury, you could even face prison time.

What is the Meaning of Domestic Battery?

Domestic battery is battery against someone whom you have or have had a close or intimate domestic relationship with. This can include a spouse or former spouse, a past or present cohabitant, past or present girlfriend, boyfriend, or fiancé, the parent of your child, the child of the victim, or someone whom you are related to closely through blood or marriage. Domestic battery is punishable by up to one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000. If probation is granted, the defendant may be ordered to participate in and successfully complete a batterer's treatment program or some other court-appointed counseling program for one year.

In some cases, sentencing may be suspended on the contingency that the defendant successfully completes one of these court-ordered programs. Probation terms may or may not also include payments of up to $5,000 to a battered women's shelter and the payment of victim restitution, such as the costs of counseling or therapy. Repeat offenders will face harsher consequences and will be given a mandatory jail sentence in accordance with how many offenses they have.

Accusations of domestic battery can have damaging effects on your future. Take the first steps to protect your future by contacting our Visalia defense lawyers.

Being Charged with Domestic Battery

Crucial to understanding a battery charge is being aware of the fact that the victim doesn't need to sustain any actual physical harm, as long as the defendant intended to use force or violence against the victim. No visible injury, such as a bruise or cut, is needed for domestic battery to have taken place. Force or violence must have been present, but it doesn't need to have been effective or even fully executed. Battery is the least serious of the California domestic violence charges because of its lenient guidelines, but it is nevertheless a charge worth fighting. Any domestic violence charge can have serious ramifications for the defendant.

If you are facing charges of domestic battery or another domestic violence charge in California, you should consider consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney about your case. All of California's domestic violence crimes, domestic battery included, are serious offenses that carry with them harsh sentencing. To have the best chance at fighting one of these charges, you should enlist the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney with sufficient experience handling domestic violence cases.

Aggressive Domestic Battery Defense in Visalia

If you or a loved one has recently been arrested and are now being charged with domestic battery, call experienced Visalia area criminal defense attorney Christopher Martens today for expert counsel. At The Law Offices of Christopher Martens, we can listen to your story and help you prepare a strategic defense to ensure you the best possible outcome for your case. Contact our Visalia or Hanford offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] to discuss a possible plan of action for your case.

For more details about your charges, schedule a consultation with our defense lawyer to see your best options.

About the Author

Christopher Martens

Bio Visalia and Bakersfield criminal defense attorney who has dedicated his life to helping those who have been accused of crimes or injured due to the negligence of others.


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