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California Penal Code 243(e)(1) - Misdemeanor Domestic Violence against a Spouse or Co-habitant
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California Penal Code 243(e)(1)

Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Against a Spouse or Co-Habitant

In Los Angeles County, when the police are notified of a domestic violence dispute, the investigating officers will virtually always make an arrest. If the arresting officer feels that the Defendant may subject the alleged victim to fear of immediate and present danger of domestic violence, the arresting officer will also issue an Emergency Protective Order.

Emergency Protective Orders

An Emergency Protective Order will restrain the Defendant from the following conduct: (1) Defendant will not be allowed to return to his or her place of residence where the alleged battered spouse or partner resides; (2) Defendant must not contact, molest, harass, attack, strike, threaten, sexually assault, batter, telephone or message to, follow, stalk, destroy any personal property of, disturb the peace of, or take any action to obtain the location of the battered person; and (3) Defendant must stay away at least 100 years from each person listed in the Emergency CLETS Restraining Order.

When an Emergency Protective Order has been issued, the Defendant's name is imputed in police data base system known as the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS). CLETS allow the police to know whether there is a restraining order issued against the defendant. If an Emergency Protective Order has been issued by the arresting officer, the Defendant needs to comply with the terms of the CLETS Order. A violation of the Emergency Protective Order by the Defendant will subject the Defendant to a subsequent arrest as well as additional criminal counts.

Information for Los Angeles Defendants

When the Defendant is arrested for domestic violence, the Defendant will be held in custody until he or she is taken to court or until the Defendant posts bail. If the Defendant posts bail, his arraignment for domestic violence will be in 3 to 4 weeks. If the defendant does not post bail, he will be taken to court for his arraignment within 2 days (excluding weekends and court holidays). It is in the Defendant's best interest to post bail and hire an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney to advocate to the prosecuting agency to either reject the case or reduce the case to a misdemeanor prior to a criminal filing.

In general, the prosecuting agency will need to make a determination on the following: 1) dismiss the case for insufficiency of evidence; 2) set the case for informal dispute resolution; 3) file the case as a misdemeanor pursuant to California Penal Code 243(e)(1); 4) file the case as a misdemeanor pursuant to California Penal Code 273.5; 5) filed the case as a felony pursuant to California Penal Code 273.5; or 6) file the case under another applicable code section. The prosecution will look to a number of factors as to whether to file the case as a misdemeanor or a felony, including but not limited to, the defendant's prior criminal history of domestic violence, the defendant's prior arrests, and the degree of injuries suffered by the victim.

Misdemeanor Offenses in Los Angeles

In general, if the victim has no visible injuries, the prosecutor will file the case as a misdemeanor under California Penal Code section 243(e)(1). Unlike California Penal Code 273.5, where the prosecutor is required to prove a "traumatic condition," California Penal Code 243(e)(1) does not require injuries. California Penal Code section 243(e)(1) is the most common type of misdemeanor case for domestic violence. To satisfy the crime of domestic battery under California Penal Code 243(e)(1), the prosecutor just needs to prove that the defendant willfully and unlawfully touched the battered person in a harmful or offensive manner, the victim was the spouse, a cohabitant, a parent of the defendant's child, former spouse, fiancé, or fiancee, or a person with whom the defendant currently has or previously had a dating or intimate relationship with, and the defendant did not act in self defense or in defense of another person. For purposes of California Penal Code section 243(e)(1), someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose. The prosecutor does not need to prove that the Defendant injured the victim, just that the defendant intended to cause a touching that was either harmful or offensive. The slightest touching caused by the defendant can be enough to commit a battery if it is done in a rude or angry way. Making contact with another person, including through his or her clothing, is enough. California Penal Code 243(e)(1) does not require the touching to cause pain or injury of any kind.

Contact the firm today!

Penal Code Sections 243(e)(1) is routinely filed in Los Angeles county for minor domestic violence cases. Arthur Khachatourians is a Los Angeles domestic violence lawyer who represents clients accused of domestic violence throughout the several Los Angeles courthouses, including but no limited to, Alhambra, Airport, Bellflower, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, Torrance, Van Nuys , and West Covina Courthouse. If you have been arrested or charged with domestic violence in violation of California Penal Code section 243(e)(1), call attorney Arthur Khachatourians for a free criminal defense consultation.

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