Domestic (Spousal) Battery California Penal Code 243 PC


Los Angeles Attorney Specializing in Domestic Battery Case DISMISSALS!

These are Actual Cases that Jeff Voll has personally gotten dismissed (the facts have been omitted as they are all basically the same ... Someone calls the police and claims their partner hit them)

People v. Albert H. Case No. 3CA06239 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. James L. Case No. 3SY03300 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Christoper L. Case No. 2LG02763 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Justin G. Case No. 3GN01251 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Osayande A. Case No. 0SY02871 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Nadeem S. Case No. 9CA25072 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Juan F. Case No. 8FF03792 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Deangelo C. Case No 3IW03325 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Lionel E. Case No. 1CR06560 - Outcome: Not Guilty

People v. Marcus W. Case No. 3IW02189 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Ralph B. Case No. 3IW02317 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Antonio E. Case No. 3IW02298 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Lonny F. Case No. 3IW02299 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Milton R. Case No 3IW02010 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Donovan M. Case No. 3IW01976 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Phillip C. Case No. 3IW02038 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. David H. Case No. 3IW00997 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Mark M. Case No. 0IW02099 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Rigoberto L. Case No. 1IW08591 - Outcome: Case Dismissed 

People v. James W. Case No. 2IW01395 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Alfredo V. Case No. 2IW01586 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Dwight A. Case No. 2IW01841 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Calvin W. Case No 2IW01903 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Ardell L. Case No. 2IW01913 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Jermaine M. Case No. 2IW01694 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Alvin G. Case No. 2IW01996 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Donald B. Case No. 1IW03112 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Roberto R. Case No. 2IW02499 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Jason S. Case No. 2IW08537 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Marcus C. Case No. 0IW02757 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Floyd W. Case No. 2IW02527 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Gloria M. Case No. 2IW02769 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Johnny R. Case No. 3IW00069 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Jonathan B. Case No. 3IW00660 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Chris E. Case No. 3IW00269 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Erica F. Case No. 3IW00070 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Antwan J. Case No. 3IW00978 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Randle H. Case No. 3IW01096 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Earl M. Case No 3IW00359 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Gerardo G. Case No. 3IW01430 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Octavio O. Case No. 3IW01598 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Abel P. Case No. 3IW01600 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Antonio W. Case No. 3IW01536 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Karl D. Case No. 3IW01538 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Tony D. Case No. 3IW01276 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Raymond W. Case No. 3IW01786 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Michael M. Case No. 3IW00990 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Gary T. Case No. 3IW01459 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Van W. Case No. 2IW02210 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Pericles C. Case No. 3IW01108 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Juana Q. Case No. 3IW01967 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Carmen J. Case No. 3IW01968 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Raul C. Case No. 3IW01287 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Juan G. Case No 3IW02090 - Outcome: Case Dismissed

People v. Davon N. Case No. 2IW02707 - Outcome: Case Dismissed


If you have been charged with domestic battery in Los Angeles and surrounding areas of Southern California, it is imperative that you educate yourself concerning the charge that has been brought against you. The California criminal code defines domestic battery in very precise terms, divides it into three classes, and assigns to it specific punishments that force one to take such charges very seriously. Finding a top-tier defense attorney and being aware of the nature of the charge and the sentence you face are your two best means of defense.

Some try to handle their case on their own, but this is a mistake. The Bill of Rights guarantees a defense attorney to every defendant because its authors realized how out-matched those unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the law were in the courtroom. Since public defenders are often too busy to pay enough attention to your case, it is best to hire an independent lawyer. Someone who specializes in criminal defense and has broad experience with your class of case is to be preferred.

Assault, Battery, and Domestic Battery

First, you need to understand the distinctions involved in the legal definitions of assault, battery, and domestic battery.

Assault merely indicates that an attempt was made by the accused to apply force to the victim for the purpose of harming him or her. It does not include actually making contact with the victim. It does, however, include that the accused had the ability to deliver the intended harm. Take as an example a man with a broken arm who tries hard to use that arm to hit someone but fails to do so because his arm muscles are not functioning. That is not assault. Take, on the other hand, a man who swings at someone's head but misses. That is assault.

Battery occurs when a person applies force, directly or indirectly, to another for the purpose of harming that person. Even the slightest contact is battery, though only aggravated battery involves substantial harm being inflicted. If a man swings at another's head and only touches his ear lobe with a passing thumb, that is still battery. If he uses a bat and breaks another's arm, that is aggravated battery.

Domestic battery is simply battery that is committed against one with whom an "intimate relationship" exists. It basically covers battery that occurs within family life and within dating and/or romantic relationships.

Domestic Violence

It is important to stop for a moment to put domestic battery in its greater legal context, which is domestic violence. Domestic violence can include many things, such as stalking, verbal abuse, threatening motions, even harming a spouse's pet or personal property. Domestic battery is simply battery that occurs on the domestic scene. It is a particular kind of domestic violence as well as a particular kind of battery.

The Three Classes of Domestic Battery

Remember that domestic battery is not really a separate offense from battery but merely a subset of it. Likewise, there are three subsets of domestic battery itself:

  • Simple domestic battery
  • Aggravated domestic battery
  • Willful infliction of emotional corporal injury

All three of these charges are also synonymous with "domestic violence," thus making domestic violence a synonym of domestic battery.

Simple Domestic Battery

If battery is committed against any of the following, it is considered to be "domestic:"

  • A current or former spouse
  • A current or former fiancé
  • A current or former date partner
  • A current or former cohabitant
  • The mother or father of one's child

Simple battery, domestic or not, involves little or no injury. It does, however, involve contact with intent to harm.

Aggravated Domestic Battery

Aggravated battery, domestic or not, occurs when battery results in the victim sustaining "serious bodily injury." If the victim was in an "intimate relationship" with the offender, it is also defined as domestic.

Willful Infliction of Emotional Corporal Injury

If either simple or aggravated battery against an "intimate partner" result in a trauma-causing injury, it is put in a special class called "willful infliction of emotional corporal injury." This is, in essence, a special case of either simple or aggravated domestic battery.

There are two important definitions that must be understood in regard to this crime. First, "intimate partner" is defined here as inapplicable to mere dating partners or fiancés. It only applies to three classes of persons:

  • A current or former spouse
  • A current or former cohabitant
  • The mother or father of one's child

Second, a "traumatic condition" can be any wound or bodily injury, even a minor one. The presence of "trauma" could be physical and/or emotional. There is obviously some degree of subjectivity in making that assessment, but it remains a factor in defining this offense nonetheless.

What Are the Possible Punishments for Domestic Battery?

Simple domestic battery is a misdemeanor and carries the following possible punishments: a maximum $2,000 fine, a maximum of one year in a county jail, or both the fine and jail time.

Aggravated domestic battery is a felony punishable by much the same sentences as for simple battery, except that the jail time can extend as long as four years in extreme cases.

Willful infliction of emotional corporal injury can be a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the nature of the case. The degree of the injury and the accused's past criminal record, if any, will be factors in weighing the charge. The punishment will mirror, more or less, that of either simple or aggravated domestic battery.

Clearly, domestic battery can carry with it some stiff sentences. Keeping such offenses off your record, as well as avoiding having to undergo them, merits hiring the best criminal defense lawyer you can possibly secure. There is a certain range of possible punishments for each type of domestic battery, and a good lawyer can often plea bargain for lesser sentences even when an acquittal is not possible.

What Facts Must the Prosecutor Prove?

To prove you guilty of domestic battery, a prosecutor must show, beyond reasonable doubt, all of the following to be true:

  • You intended to harm the victim.
  • You touched the victim, either directly or indirectly.
  • The victim was in an intimate relationship with you, as defined by the California criminal code.
  • To prove aggravated domestic battery, the prosecutor must further show that substantial injury to the victim resulted from your contacting him or her.
  • To prove willful infliction of emotional corporal injury, the prosecuting attorney must additionally prove that there was true and substantial trauma associated with the injury.

The prosecutor will use every possible means to prove all of these points, but intent, extent of harm, cause of harm, and even specific relational status at the time of the incident are not always easy to prove. A good criminal defense attorney will force the prosecutor to demonstrate every point beyond doubt or lose his case.

What Defenses Can Be Used?

There are only three defense strategies typically used in a case where the defendant is accused of some form of domestic battery:

  • The accused acted out of self defense.
  • The accused acted in the interest of defending others.
  • The injury was an accident.

Defense of Self or Others

If it can be shown that you had reason to believe that you or another persons would likely suffer bodily injury unless you performed the actions that resulted in the injury, you cannot be found guilty of domestic battery. The level of force, however, that you used to fend off the threat you sensed must have been in proportion to that threat. Furthermore, if additional battery was inflicted on the victim after the threat you sensed no longer existed, this defense would fail to apply to that portion of the battery.

Accidental Injury

It is required that the force applied was "willful" in order to convict. If there was no intent to harm or the action was done unknowingly or involuntarily, it is not domestic battery. It is simply an accident, and you cannot be held guilty.

What Assistance Can a Good Defense Attorney Provide?

Being charged with domestic battery, in any of its three classes, is no small matter. We at the law offices of Jeff Voll understand all of the complicated details of California's domestic violence statutes. Domestic battery is a very serious charge, but our law firm can equip you to put up the very best defense possible and to gain the best possible outcome in court. Often, there is the possibility of an out-of-court settlement as well, and we know how to negotiate effectively in your interests. If you have been or believe you soon will be charged with domestic battery, do not hesitate to reach out to us for assistance. We are here to help.

What Should I Do To Prepare for My Upcoming Court Date?

While we at the law offices of Jeff Voll can assist you every step of the way, there are a few things to keep in mind immediately. First, you should not talk to anyone about the incident without first consulting your lawyer. Second, you must review the events and facts involved in the case thoroughly in your own mind. Third, you should learn all you can about California's domestic battery laws.


We at Jeff Voll understand the severe penalties that cast their shadows over one accused of domestic battery. Your reputation also suffers, and you may even lose your job. The financial burden of defending yourself can also weigh heavily on your shoulders. Whether you have been accused of simple, aggravated, or traumatic domestic battery, we have the long experience at defending people just like you that is so crucial in the courtroom. Do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation where we can go over the details of your case and explain to you your best options.

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