Arguments and disagreements with a spouse are often the most contentious. In addition to the strain that caused to the relationship, the parties involved may find themselves facing harsh criminal sanctions. In California, the law specifically punishes those convicted of crimes against a spouse. A number of defenses are available to a person accused of corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant.
Corporal injury on a spouse is codified under Penal Code Section 273.5. It stated in pertinent part that “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 corporal injury on a spouse.
The most common defenses to allegations of corporal injury on a spouse are: that the allegations are false, that the accused acted in self-defense, and that the incident was an accident.
Unfortunately with allegations of corporal injury, false accusations often lead to a person being accused of the crime. As discussed above, domestic disputes are often contentious and antagonistic. Most domestic disputes arise out of very emotional situations, and far too often, people will make false accusations in order to punish the other person.
Self-defense as a defense to corporal injury arises typically when there is mutual combat, and one person uses force upon the other to prevent injury to him or herself. The amount of force used in self-defense, must be reasonable. Reasonable force is often described as an appropriate amount of force to protect yourself.
An accused may also assert that the injury to the other person, or the hitting or striking of the other person was a result of an accident. If the accused can show that the incident or injury was a result of an accident, and that they did not have any intent to injure or strike the other person, they will be successful in not being convicted of the crime.
If convicted of corporal injury on a spouse, the punishment can include imprisonment for up to four years, by a fine of up to six thousand dollars ($6,000) or by both fine and imprisonment. In addition to the above-mentioned punishments, a person convicted of this code section may be required to completed 52-weeks of a batters prevention program and be placed on probation.
If you or a loved one has been arrested, it is imperative you contact our firm. Hiring an experienced corporal injury on spouse defense attorney is the best way to ensure you keep your freedom. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been helping people for over 30 years.