Corporal Injury on a Spouse Defense at The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi

Corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant, is a serious offense that involves deliberately hurting an intimate partner. This can include a range of actions, from causing minor injuries to severe harm, resulting from physical or emotional abuse. Convictions under this statute can lead to felony charges and may include, besides imprisonment, mandatory domestic violence counseling.

At The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, We have deep knowledge in handling the complexities of cases under California Penal Code 273.5. With over two decades of criminal defense experience, Attorney Arash Hashemi and his team focus on a thorough review of incident details, careful examination of all evidence, and an in-depth look at the nature and impact, aiming to get a complete understanding.

Our Attorney uses his extensive knowledge of domestic violence laws to fight for our clients, aiming to reduce the impact of these serious accusations. Recognizing the significant effect a conviction can have on someone’s life, our goal is to protect our clients’ futures and reputation. We make sure our clients’ stories are heard and their rights are preserved.

Facing charges of Corporal Injury on a Spouse or Cohabitant can be overwhelming. If you or someone you know is dealing with such accusations, contact our office at (310) 448-1529 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation. We are committed to defending your rights and fighting for a just outcome in your case.

Understanding Corporal Injury Laws in California

California Penal Code § 273.5 classifies corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant as a “wobbler” offense, allowing for charges as either a misdemeanor or a felony based on the harm’s severity and case specifics. This statute aims to penalize the infliction of bodily harm. This law covers:

  • (a) It criminalizes causing a “traumatic condition” to an intimate partner, including spouses, cohabitants, fiancés, or parents of shared children.
  • (b) Penalties include imprisonment (two, three, or four years in state prison or up to one year in county jail), fines up to $6,000, or both.
  • (c) Victims covered include current or former spouses, cohabitants, fiancés, dating partners, or parents of the offender’s child.
  • (d) “Traumatic condition” refers to any wound or injury caused by physical force, including strangulation or suffocation.
  • (e) Parental status is recognized if the male is presumed the child’s natural father under specific Family Code sections.
  • (f) Enhanced penalties apply for repeat offenders within seven years, potentially leading to longer imprisonment and higher fines.
  • (g) Probation conditions may include mandatory domestic violence counseling, consistent with Section 1203.097 provisions.





    Prosecuting Corporal Injury | Key Elements for a Conviction

    To convict under CA Penal Code § 273.5 PC, prosecutors must establish certain elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

    • Intimate Partner Relationship: The accused and the victim must have a specific relationship (spouse, cohabitant, fiancé, etc.) as the law defines.
    • Willful Infliction of Injury: Evidence must show the accused intentionally caused bodily harm resulting in a traumatic condition.
    • Traumatic Condition Proof: Prosecutors need to demonstrate the injury led to a traumatic condition, signifying serious bodily harm.
    • Lack of Consent: The act was without the victim’s consent, emphasizing the unlawfulness of the contact.
    • Intent to Cause Harm: The accused must have acted with the purpose of inflicting injury, not merely the contact.

    Lacking evidence in any category offers a pathway for defense to challenge the charges. Our attorney strives to get these charges dismissed or reduced, taking a thorough approach for the best outcome.

    Penalties for Corporal Injury Conviction

    In California, the designation of corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant under Penal Code § 273.5 as a “wobbler” allows prosecutors, particularly in Los Angeles County, the flexibility to file the case as either a misdemeanor or a felony. This distinction significantly influences the scope of penalties, which vary based on the offense’s severity and the defendant’s prior criminal history, highlighting the law’s adaptability to the nuances of each case.

    Misdemeanor Conviction Penalties Include:

    • Imprisonment: Up to one year in county jail.
    • Fines: Convicted individuals may face fines up to $6,000, consistent with felony charges.
    • Probation: Defendants may receive up to three years of informal or summary probation. Probation conditions closely align with those imposed on felony convictions, encompassing mandatory attendance in domestic violence classes and the potential for restraining orders.
    • Firearm Ban: A misdemeanor conviction prohibits firearm ownership or possession for ten years under California law. Moreover, federal law imposes a lifetime ban on firearm possession following such a conviction.

    Felony Conviction Penalties Include:

    • Imprisonment: Defendants face potential state imprisonment for two, three, or four years. In some cases, courts may opt for county jail imprisonment of up to one year.
    • Fines: Conviction may result in fines up to $6,000, with potential increases under specific circumstances.
    • Repeat Offenses: Individuals with a prior battery or assault conviction within seven years may receive extended imprisonment ranging from two to five years, or up to one year in county jail, including a mandated minimum jail term for repeat offenses. Fines for repeat offenses can escalate to $10,000.
    • Additional Penalties: Courts mandate completion of domestic violence classes for at least one year, may order up to $5,000 payment to a battered women’s shelter, require reimbursement to the victim for medical or counseling services, and possibly issue restraining and protective orders. Formal probation or parole spans no less than three years.
    • Firearm Possession: A felony conviction entails a loss of the right to own or possess firearms.

    Legal Defenses Against Corporal Injury Allegations

    Corporal injury charges on a spouse or cohabitant can lead to harsh penalties, yet effective defense methods can contest the prosecution’s claims.

    • Self-Defense: This asserts the accused acted to protect themselves or others, believing imminent harm was coming. Proving this requires showing the accused’s perception of threat was reasonable.
    • False Accusations: Often, charges stem from misunderstandings, jealousy, or spite. Unveiling the accuser’s motives and inconsistencies in their narrative is crucial.
    • Accidental Injury: If the injury occurred without intent, this defense focuses on the absence of deliberate harm, emphasizing the lack of intention.
    • Insufficient Evidence: Underlining the prosecution’s failure to provide conclusive evidence can weaken the case, highlighting gaps in proving intentional infliction of injury.
    • Mistaken Identity: Demonstrating the accused was incorrectly identified involves leveraging alibis and other evidential support to dispute involvement.

    Policy Changes in Sentencing for Corporal Injury Cases in Los Angeles County

    Los Angeles County has updated policies on prosecuting corporal injury cases under Penal Code 273.5. From December 8, 2020, the District Attorney’s Office stopped seeking “great bodily injury” enhancements in these cases. Now, injuries’ severity, from minor bruises to serious conditions like fractures, won’t lead to this enhancement.

    Impact of the Policy Change

    This policy change directly affects how cases are prosecuted and the potential sentences for those convicted under PC 273.5. Specifically:

    • Now, all injuries get the same treatment in court, without extra penalties for worse injuries.
    • Extra prison time for “great bodily injury” has been removed.
    • Even serious harm in corporal injury cases won’t count as a strike under California’s Three Strikes Law.

    Legal Implications and Defense

    This change greatly impacts defense tactics in Los Angeles County’s corporal injury cases. Without enhancement penalties, case outcomes and sentences could change, reshaping legal defense and plea deals

    Understanding Probation in Corporal Injury Cases

    To avoid jail time on probation, you must adhere to specific conditions, regardless of probation type. These may include:

    • Financial Obligations: Fines, victim restitution for expenses like counseling, and contributions up to $5,000 to a battered woman’s shelter.
    • Educational Requirements: Participation in a 52-week domestic violence class.
    • Service Commitments: Community service or Caltrans roadside work.
    • Legal Compliance: Abstaining from law violations and adherence to restraining or protective orders, prohibiting victim contact for up to ten years.
    • Mandatory Jail Time: A minimum of 15 days for a prior assault or domestic violence offense within seven years, or 60 days for two or more prior offenses.

    Violating Probation: What Next?

    Failure to meet probation conditions leads to a probation violation hearing. Depending on the violation’s severity, a judge may:

    • Continue probation unchanged,
    • Impose stricter conditions, or
    • Revoke probation, resulting in jail or prison time for the maximum sentence.

    Contact a Los Angeles Corporal Injury Defense Attorney

    Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer

    If you’re facing charges of corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant, The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi stands ready with expert defense. With over twenty years in criminal defense, Attorney Arash Hashemi employs strategic tactics to safeguard your rights. We are dedicated to ensuring you’re fully aware of your legal options and the progress of your case at every step.

    Located in the Westside Towers of Los Angeles, our office serves clients across Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Westwood, easily accessible from the Expo/Bundy Station. Understanding the importance of accessibility, we offer flexible scheduling, including weekend appointments and jail visits for detailed case discussions.

    For expert help with corporal injury charges and a positive strategy, call our office at (310) 448-1529 or schedule a consultation.





      11845 W Olympic Blvd #520, Los Angeles, CA 90064

      Monday—Friday: 8:30AM–5:00PM

      (310) 448-1529