California Penal Code 243

Are you facing charges for committing battery against your spouse? California penal code 243 violations can result in severe penalties. Call our law offices today at (888) 250-2865 to find out how our  skilled domestic violence attorneys can help limit the damage and get you back on track.


What is PC 243?


California defines domestic abuse of a spouse as willful and unlawful use of force (California Penal Code 243 (CPC 243)) against a spouse or person with whom the accused had a dating or engagement relationship. This is different than PC 243e1 which governs simple battery offenses. Felony domestic abuse against a partner takes place when the accused batters a current or former spouse, cohabitant, or parent of the accused’s child in such a way that the act leaves the victim in a traumatic condition (CPC 273.5)


To prosecute for battery against a spouse (CPC 243(e)), the prosecution has the burden of proving:


First, that an act of battery occurred. According to California Penal Code 242, Battery means:


1. the accused touched the victim with the intent to cause harm
2. That the victim did not consent to being touched by the accused in that manner
3. That the victim suffered harm because of the accused’s act.


Second, that it occurred against someone with whom the accused has had some kind of intimate relationship with. This could mean:


  • A spouse or former spouse
  • Someone the accused has or had a dating or engagement relationship with
  • Someone the accused was living with, or
  • The parent of the accused’s child


Thirdly, that the accused was not acting in self-defense or in defense of someone else.


What are the Penalties for CPC 243 Violations?


Those found guilty of simple battery against a spouse or fellow parent can face:


  • A fine of up to $2,000
  • Imprisonment in county jail for up to one year
  • Probation, which may require the defendant to:
    1. pay up to $5,000 to a battered women’s shelter
    2. reimburse the victim for counseling costs and “reasonable costs” of restitution as found by the court


Potential Punishments for CPC 273.5 are:


  • Imprisonment in state prison for 2-4 years or county jail for up to a year, and/or
  • A fine of up to $6,000
  • Second-time or especially violent offenders face 2-5 years in prison and/or fines of $10,000


If you are facing Orange County domestic battery charges, we can help you understand your options. We have 30 years of domestic violence defense experience that we will bring to your service in this difficult time. Call MacGregor & Collins today for help with California Penal Code 243 at (888) 250-2865.

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