September 30, 2015 By Paul Wallin

What is Domestic Violence under Penal Code 243(e) in California?

Most people know that domestic violence is a crime in California. However, many people do not understand the complex laws regarding domestic violence.

Under California Penal Code Section 243, battery on a spouse is a domestic violence crime, and it carries serious penalties if you are convicted. But what exactly does “battery on a spouse” mean?

What is Battery on a Spouse? (PC 243(e))

battery on a spouse
Battery on a spouse is considered domestic violence.

Battery on spouse under Penal Code 243 (e) in California is a misdemeanor offense that can have serious consequences on those who are convicted of this crime. It is considered a crime of domestic violence. Battery on a spouse is defined as:

“When a battery is committed against a spouse, a person who is the parent of the defendant’s child, former spouse, fiancé or fiancée, or a person with whom the defendant currently has, or has previously had, a dating or engagement relationship…”

In other words, battery on a spouse is when you willfully commit an offensive touching against a spouse, significant other or former significant other. In order to be convicted of this crime, the prosecution must prove that you have or had a romantic relationship with the alleged victim.

Battery on a Spouse Charges

It is important to know that a battery can be committed even though there is no injury to the victim whatsoever. Under PC 243(e), the slightest offensive touching can be considered a battery and could lead to a conviction of this crime.

For example, pulling on your girlfriend’s purse while she has it over her shoulder or flipping your boyfriend’s hat off his head could be considered a battery, and could lead to prosecution despite the fact that there was not the slightest injury to that person.

If you are convicted of battery on a spouse charges, you face up to 364 days in county jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Additionally, you will likely be required to attend and complete a 52-week domestic violence program.

Battery on a spouse is considered a “crime of moral turpitude,” so a conviction will also result in negatively impacting your criminal record, and therefore your ability to find and maintain employment. If you are a immigrant in California, a conviction could have major ramifications on your ability to stay in the U.S.

Call the Domestic Violence Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich

domestic violence attorney
Our domestic violence attorneys can help you.

If you or a loved one is facing domestic violence charges, you need to speak to a skilled criminal defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich. Our domestic violence attorneys have been successfully defending our clients accused of battery on a spouse for over 40 years. We’ve helped thousands of clients in their time of legal need, and we can help you now.

Our offices are located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Torrance, West Covina, Sherman Oaks, Ventura, San Diego and Victorville. Our skilled domestic violence attorneys are available to help you no matter where you work or live.

For a free consultation, call us at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245. We will get through this together.

AUTHOR: Paul Wallin

Paul Wallin is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Wallin a premiere Southern California attorney. Mr. Wallin founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Wallin has been successfully representing clients for more than 30 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving assault and battery, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, theft, manslaughter, sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Mr. Wallin also helps clients with family law matters such as divorce and child custody.

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