Penal Code section 273.5 is the felony criminal statute that domestic violence
perpetrators will be charged with. If you are convicted or plead guilty
or no-contest even to a lesser offense like disturbing the peace, the
Family Code section 3044 against joint custody of your kids will be triggered! In addition, the
presumption against an award of spousal support in your favor
Family Code section 4325 will cut you off from funds!
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CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE
CRIMINAL SPOUSAL ABUSE
Penal Code Section 273.5
(a) Any person who willfully inflicts upon a person who is his or her spouse,
former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or the mother or father
of his or her child, corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition
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.
(b) Holding oneself out to be the husband or wife of the person with whom
one is cohabiting is not necessary to constitute cohabitation as the term
is used in this section.
(c) 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.
(d) For the purpose of this section, a person shall be considered the father
or mother of another person's child if the alleged male parent is
presumed the natural father under Sections
7612 of the Family Code.
(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).
(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.
(f) If probation is granted to any person convicted under subdivision (a),
the court shall impose probation consistent with the provisions of Section 1203.097.
(g) If probation is granted, or the execution or imposition of a sentence
is suspended, for any defendant convicted under subdivision (a) who has
been convicted of any prior offense specified in subdivision (e), the
court shall impose one of the following conditions of probation:
(1) If the defendant has suffered one prior conviction within the previous
seven years for a violation of any offense specified in subdivision (e),
it shall be a condition thereof, in addition to the provisions contained
in Section 1203.097, that he or she be imprisoned in a county jail for
not less than 15 days.
(2) If the defendant has suffered two or more prior convictions within
the previous seven years for a violation of any offense specified in subdivision
(e), it shall be a condition of probation, in addition to the provisions
contained in Section 1203.097, that he or she be imprisoned in a county
jail for not less than 60 days.
(3) The court, upon a showing of good cause, may find that the mandatory
imprisonment required by this subdivision shall not be imposed and shall
state on the record its reasons for finding good cause.
(h) If probation is granted upon conviction of a violation of subdivision
(a), the conditions of probation may include, consistent with the terms
of probation imposed pursuant to Section 1203.097, in lieu of a fine,
one or both of the following requirements:
(1) That the defendant make payments to a battered women's shelter,
up to a maximum of five thousand dollars ($5,000), pursuant to Section 1203.097.
(2) That the defendant reimburse the victim for reasonable costs of counseling
and other reasonable expenses that the court finds are the direct result
of the defendant's offense.
For any order to pay a fine, make payments to a battered women's shelter,
or pay restitution as a condition of probation under this subdivision,
the court shall make a determination of the defendant's ability to
pay. In no event shall any order to make payments to a battered women's
shelter be made if it would impair the ability of the defendant to pay
direct restitution to the victim or court-ordered child support. Where
the injury to a married person is caused in whole or in part by the criminal
acts of his or her spouse in violation of this section, the community
property may not be used to discharge the liability of the offending spouse
for restitution to the injured spouse, required by Section 1203.04, as
operative on or before August 2, 1995, or Section 1202.4, or to a shelter
for costs with regard to the injured spouse and dependents, required by
this section, until all separate property of the offending spouse is exhausted.
(i) Upon conviction under subdivision (a), the sentencing court shall also
consider issuing an order restraining the defendant from any contact with
the victim, which may be valid for up to 10 years, as determined by the
court. It is the intent of the Legislature that the length of any restraining
order be based upon the seriousness of the facts before the court, the
probability of future violations, and the safety of the victim and his
or her immediate family. This protective order may be issued by the court
whether the defendant is sentenced to state prison, county jail, or if
imposition of sentence is suspended and the defendant is placed on probation.
(j) If a peace officer makes an arrest for a violation of this section,
the peace officer is not required to inform the victim of his or her right
to make a citizen's arrest pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 836.