If your spouse inflicts injury to you that causes a traumatic condition, they could face some serious jail time as well as be held liable for your injuries. Penal Code 273.5 is a very strict law in California that prohibits any person from willfully inflicting corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition to a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or the mother or father of his or her child. If this occurs, the person could face a conviction and be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years or a fine of up to $6,000. This person is guilty of a serious felony.
What is a traumatic condition? Under Penal Code 273.5, this includes anything like a wound, external or internal injury, injury as a result of strangulation or suffocation, and more. Strangulation and suffocation include anything that involves impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of a person by applying pressure on the throat or neck.
So What are Some Good Examples of the Traumatic Conditions that Would Qualify for this Infliction?
- Your ex-husband squeezes your arm hard enough to leave bruises.
- Your wife punches you in the face during an argument and knocks a tooth out.
- A woman pushes her boyfriend into a glass cabinet and leaves him with cuts all across his body.
- A gay man punches and kicks his live-in boyfriend and leaves that boyfriend with a broken rib.
You can only be convicted of this Penal Code if you have willfully inflicted the injury and it did actually cause a traumatic condition. A traumatic condition is considered to be the result of an injury for many different reasons. These include the fact that the traumatic condition was a natural and probable result of the injury, the injury was a direct and substantial cause of the traumatic condition, and the condition would not have happened without the injury. If the traumatic injury was a result of something they inflicted upon themselves and not the actual action (i.e. falling after a fight takes place by your own accord), then this will not leave a possible defendant guilty of this crime.
Defenses to Penal Code 273.5
Corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant is a type of domestic violence crime. These violent crimes are taken very seriously for good reasons, because more than 1 million women are victims of physical assault every year, and many men are as well. However, just as easily could somebody be falsely accused of this heinous crime. Here are some defenses to Penal Code 273.5:
- Wrong Suspect: What happens if the defendant claims that someone else was responsible for the abuse? Evidence may be presented to show whether or not the defendant was near the scene of the alleged incident and whether he or she had a reliable alibi.
- False Allegations: False allegations are something that happen all too often. This is especially known to happen in child custody cases and divorce cases. Defense attorneys will typically search for inconsistencies in the accuser’s story by comparing the stories to police records and witness accounts.
- Self-Defense: Defendants will sometimes claim that they acted in self-defense or to protect their children. Self defense claims work if the defendant can reasonably perceive an imminent threat.
- Consent: Sometimes an individual consented voluntarily to a particular act. That consent may function as a defense against a domestic violence charge.
- Lack of Proof: Poking holes in the other side’s arguments can be used as a defense. If the prosecutor fails to meet the requisite burden of proof, a defendant will not be convicted.
True domestic violence and wrongfully accused victims are both protected under certain circumstances. The legal system works to benefit those that have a case. If you believe you have a case, you can speak to an experienced attorney about the details surrounding the case. Find out more by calling the Blair Law Firm today!