In California, when a person is charged with spousal abuse relating to domestic violence, there are two common charges. These two charges are: corporal injury to a spouse or spousal battery. Below we outline the differences between the two.
Corporal Injury to a Spouse
Corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant is charged as a felony crime. This charge can be brought when a person willfully inflicts on his or her spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or on any person who is the parent of his or her child, corporal injury that results in a traumatic condition.
“Traumatic condition” is defined by the California Penal code as a condition of the body, such as a wound or injury, regardless of how serious that wound or injury is. Regardless of how slight an injury is, as long as there is an injury, an arrest will be made if police are called to the scene of a domestic violence incident.
Spousal battery is generally charged as a misdemeanor crime. California penal code defines battery as any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another. A person can be charged with spousal battery when a person commits battery against a spouse, a cohabitant, former spouse, fiancée, or a person with whom the person accused of has previously dated or are dating. Injury is not required for a person to be charged with spousal battery.
Hiring a Lawyer for Domestic Violence Charges
If you are the victim of domestic violence, you need to contact a lawyer that will be able to protect you and defend your case. An attorney will be able to protect you and your family via various methods that include getting a restraining order or custody changes. A lawyer will be able to plead your case so that you feel safe and well represented.
Source: Sigal Law Group, Understanding Domestic Violence Charges , 2014
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