The Difference Between Corporal Injury on a Spouse and Battery (PC 242, 243)
The crimes of battery and corporal injury on a spouse involve very similar acts. Thus, it can be difficult to understand what charges you will face if you commit an act of force upon someone.
Will you be charged with corporal injury on a spouse or battery? Let’s explore these two crimes and the differences between them.
Battery and Spousal Battery (PC 242 and PC 243)
The crime of battery is defined as “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another” under California Penal Code Section 242. This crime could be committed against any person, regardless if you knew the person or not.
Battery is a misdemeanor crime in California. If you are convicted, you face up to six months in jail and fines of up to $2,000.
If you commit battery on a person who you have a relationship with, you could face more severe punishment. Under PC 243(e)(1), the crime often referred to as “spousal battery” occurs when you use force or violence against:
- A current of former spouse
- A cohabitant
- The parent of your child
- Someone you are engaged to or were engaged to, or
- A current or former significant other
A spousal battery conviction is a misdemeanor that carries up to 364 days in jail and fines of up to $2,000. You may also be required to enter a batterer’s program for one year and pay up to $5,000 to a battered women’s shelter if you’re convicted of this crime.
Corporal Injury on a Spouse or Cohabitant (PC 273.5)
The crime of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant is similar to spousal battery. PC 273.5 involves the same people with whom you have a relationship with as PC 243(e)(1). Where these crimes differ is the fact that you must have inflicted some type of injury upon the victim in order to be convicted of corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant.
You can be convicted under PC 273.5 if you:
- Inflicted corporal injury on a spouse, ex-spouse, partner or ex-partner, former or current cohabitant, or mother or father of your child
- You willfully inflicted the injury, and
- The victim suffered a traumatic condition, whether a minor or serious wound or other injury to the body, as a result of your use of force
If you used physical force against a person with whom you have a relationship and it resulted in the person suffering an injury, no matter how slight, you will likely be charged with corporal injury on a spouse.
This crime is a wobbler offense. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, you face up to 364 days in jail and fines of up to $6,000. Felony corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant carries a punishment of two, three or four years in state prison and fines of up to $6,000.
Contact Our Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or someone you love has been accused of a battery or domestic violence crime, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich right away. Our skilled criminal lawyers have been successfully defending clients accused of domestic violence crimes for more than 40 years. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, our experienced criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are available to help you no matter where you are located.
Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.