Los Angeles Domestic Battery Lawyer

Domestic Battery

When an individual is arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, he or she will usually be initially cited for corporal injury to a spouse in violation of California Penal Code Section 273.5 PC. This offense is a “wobbler” which can be filed as either a felony or a misdemeanor. However, when injuries are slight or nonexistent and the defendant does not have a prior record, he or she may ultimately be charged with domestic battery under California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) PC. This is a misdemeanor level offense and those convicted of this crime can face extensive court penalties as well as numerous other collateral consequences.

The Elements of a Domestic Battery Offense

In order to prove that a defendant is guilty of domestic battery, the prosecutor must be able to prove the he or she touched the victim in a harmful or offensive manner and that the victim is a current or former spouse, cohabitant, fiancé, co-parent or person with whom the defendant had a previous dating relationship.

PENAL CODE § 243(e)(1) PC

The physical contact can be slight and does not need to leave a mark or permanent injury. Even a push or shove that causes no damage can be sufficient to support criminal charges of domestic battery under California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) PC. A defendant is not guilty of domestic battery when his or her conduct was entirely verbal and there was no harmful or offensive physical contact. However, defendants who threaten violence can be charged with criminal threats in violation of California Penal Code Section 422 PC, which is a potential felony.

How Does a Prosecutor Prove Domestic Battery?

In a domestic battery case, the prosecution will typically rely on the testimony of the victim. There may be other witnesses who observed the battery and there may be photographic evidence of injuries that can be presented to the jury. In many cases, the victim may not want to press charges however the prosecutor will often go forward even where the witness is not cooperative. The victim can be subpoenaed to testify and a warrant can issue if he or she fails to appear in court.

Previously, prosecutors were able to introduce the victim’s hearsay statements to police when the victim was unavailable at trial. The United States Supreme Court recently found this to be a violation of the Confrontation Clause which allows criminal defendants to confront their accusers.

Consequences of a Domestic Battery Conviction

Defendants who are convicted of domestic battery can face a number of penalties imposed by the court. Judges often require those convicted of domestic battery to complete a 52-week domestic abuse counselling program. In addition, the defendant may be required to serve time in jail, complete community labor or community service hours and pay costly court fines. The judge will usually issue a protective order preventing the defendant from contacting the victim.

The defendant would have to surrender all firearms and would be prevented from owning or possessing firearms for a specified period of time. In addition, a conviction for domestic battery on one’s criminal record may cause problems with certain state professional licensing boards and would likely come up during background checks conducted by employers.

If you or a loved one are facing charges for domestic battery, it is imperative that you speak with an attorney experienced in representing domestic violence cases right way. Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who fights hard on behalf of his clients charged with domestic battery and other domestic violence crimes. In many cases, Mr. Kraut has been able to have charges rejected or significantly reduced even before the case goes to court.

For more information about domestic battery and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

Share |
Client Reviews
He gave me the peace of mind that my DUI case was going to be resolved. He fought for what it was needed and helped me by answering all my questions. Mike is not an average attorney. He’s a very experienced, honest and straightforward person that is there for you!
I hired Attorney Mike Kraut and I'm am so happy and grateful that I did! I was arrested for a DUI because my BAC level was over the .08 limit. I ended up getting a wet and reckless instead of a DUI. I still have to do some classes and I'm on probation, but I do not have a DUI on my record. If you have a DUI hire Attorney Kraut, he definitely knows his stuff!
Avvo User
There aren't enough positive words to write about Mike, but let me be clear that this is the only lawyer worth hiring in Los Angeles. Mike is professional, caring, and an absolute champion at winning in court.
Kyle, Avvo User
Mike Kraut is not a typical lawyer. He is a straightforward person with a true heart and a sympathetic ear. He is also smart and connected and he cares about the people who seek out his help. He got my son out of a jam. He did it quickly and painlessly. I recommend Mike Kraut to anyone that needs his services.
Thank you Mike for helping my son.
Mark, Avvo User
Michael Kraut is a rock star lawyer. I was really happy and satisfied with the results I received from Michael and his team. A few months back I was being accused of a serious felony. Mike gave me sound legal advice and worked diligently to clear my name. Mike was great at always keeping me updated and returning calls. Great, great lawyer I cant say enough about this man!
Eric, Google User
How can I express how relieved and pleased I am with Michael's professional abilities to have my Felony brought down to a misdameanor to a possible dismissal with deferment. With his care my life has been turned around and cannot say how helpful he's been not only in my case but life. He, himself has changed how I view criminal lawyers. Thank you so much Michael!
Owen, Google User