Is Domestic Battery a Felony or a Misdemeanor? (PC 243(e)(1))
If you willfully commit a harmful or offensive touching on a significant other, roommate, child, family member or cohabitant, you could be charged with domestic battery under California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1). Will you be facing misdemeanor or felony charges if you are accused of domestic battery?
Our skilled domestic battery attorneys have been successfully defending clients charged under PC 243(e)(1) for more than 40 years. Let’s take a closer look at how domestic battery charges are classified.
Understanding Domestic Battery Charges
Under PC 243(e)(1), the crime of domestic battery is when you commit battery against a person who has a special relationship to you. Battery is the willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon another person. To be convicted of battery, the prosecution must prove that you:
- Willfully touched another person, AND
- The touching was harmful or offensive
Therefore, the crime of domestic battery is when you willingly commit a harmful or offensive touching to someone who is your:
- Current or former spouse
- Current or former significant other (boyfriend or girlfriend)
- Fiancé or fiancée
- Family member, OR
- Cohabitant or roommate
It is important to note that a “harmful or offensive” touching is any physical contact that is considered violent, rude, angry or disrespectful. The physical contact can be done through indirect means, such as through another person’s clothing or indirectly with an object. For example, spitting on another person is likely to be considered offensive contact.
Domestic Battery is a Misdemeanor Offense
Domestic battery is often charged as a misdemeanor, but that does not mean that this charge should be taken lightly. If you are convicted of domestic battery under PC 243(e)(1), you face up to six months in county jail and fines of up to $2,000.
Immediately upon being accused of this crime, the police may issue an emergency protective order against you, which is active for five days and requires you to stay away from the alleged victim. Before the emergency protective order expires, the court could issue a criminal protective order against you at a hearing. This means you cannot have contact with the alleged victim pending the outcome of the case.
Additionally, if you are convicted of felony domestic battery, you may be ordered to pay up to $5,000 to a battered women’s shelter and restitution to the victim (who may incur expenses for counseling as a result of your domestic battery).
This misdemeanor crime carries significant penalties. That is why you should speak to an experienced Wallin & Klarich domestic battery attorney if you are accused of this serious domestic violence offense.
Contact the Domestic Battery Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
Domestic battery is a serious crime that can have devastating consequences. If you or someone you love has been accused of domestic battery, you should contact our skilled domestic battery lawyers at Wallin & Klarich right away. Our criminal defense lawyers have more than 40 years of experience successfully defending clients accused of domestic battery. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich domestic battery attorney 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, no-obligation phone consultation. We will get through this together.