What You Should Do If Charged Under PC 273.5
PC 273.5 is a California law that criminalizes something referred to as the corporal injuring of an intimate partner. This is a form of domestic abuse that is treated very seriously in California. If you’ve been accused of breaking the law through PC 273.5, you need to know what your rights are.
What Does PC 273.5 Actually Criminalize?
As previously stated, PC 273.5 criminalizes the corporal injuring of an intimate partner. This phrase, however, may be confusing to many. What this refers to is when a person purposely inflicts an injury on his or her intimate partner. For this crime to have occurred, it should have also produced trauma in the partner that was attacked.
The intimate partner in this case is defined as someone who has a specific relationship with the abuser. This could be a spouse, ex-spouse, fiancé, ex-fiancé, cohabitant, boyfriend, girlfriend or father or mother of the defendant’s child.
The corporal element of this crime comes from the fact that it must produce some kind of physical injury. This separates it from other domestic violence charges that are used for individuals that did not injure their partners.
What Are the Penalties for This Crime?
Depending on the circumstances of the case as well as the defendant’s criminal history, a corporal injuring of an intimate partner could be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. If the defendant already has multiple domestic abuse convictions, it will likely be tried as a felony.
If a person receives a misdemeanor conviction, the punishment for breaking this law could include a one year jail term and a $6,000 fine. If the charge was done as a felony, the punishment may be a four year prison term and a fine of $6,000. Defendants who are not US citizens could also face deportation back to their country of origin after being convicted of this kind of crime.
How Our Law Firm Can Help
Due to the serious consequences of being convicted under PC 273.5, you need to hire an attorney with plenty of experience defending clients in domestic violence cases. Juries tend to not be very sympathetic to individuals accused of domestic violence. The expertise of a seasoned attorney is required to avoid a conviction.
Thankfully, many different defense strategies can be successfully employed by a lawyer in this kind of domestic violence case. For example, the lawyer could argue that the defendant acted only in self defense. If the other partner was being as violent as the defendant, this could undermine the argument of the prosecution. It could also be proven in court that the injury was the result of an accident. Alternatively, the attorney may argue that the allegation is false. This is easier when there is no physical evidence available to the contrary.
Overall, the knowledge and skill set of a talented attorney is required. You never want to represent yourself in a case where the ramifications could include jail and the ruining of your reputation.