As a first-time domestic violence offender, a defendant may be more likely to face misdemeanor charges. The facts of the case will dictate the sentence, as will the presence or lack of a criminal record. Additionally, the court imposes mandatory probation upon defendants convicted of domestic violence. A protective order, attendance at a batterers’ class, or other terms may be included as terms of punishment.
Visible marks or injuries may lead to arrest on suspicion of corporal injury to a spouse. As a “wobbler “crime, California Penal Code § 273.5 can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor conviction still carries potential time in prison. A felony crime may include up to four years in prison, and can result in a strike on the defendant's record.
An officer that assesses the situation and believes physical contact was more limited may arrest an individual on suspicion of battery to a spouse. If convicted, this misdemeanor offense under California Penal Code § 243(e) can result in up to a year in jail as well as court fines and protective orders. A conviction can prevent people from eligibility for certain jobs, such as caring for children.
In order for a domestic battery charge to stand, the prosecution must prove the defendant committed an offensive touching that was non-consensual. A brief touch, no matter how minor, will support a charge.