When you have been accused of or charged with domestic violence, you must understand the charges so you can combat them effectively. There are several different types of domestic abuse, ranging from relatively low severity to highly violent. Sometimes, a person may be charged with domestic abuse without physically hurting someone.
Sometimes, cases of harassment, alienation, or forbidding a domestic partner, spouse, or family member to live an independent life can also cause domestic abuse charges. The most common type of domestic violence charge—at least in the common understanding of the crime—is criminal spousal abuse. However, there are two main types of criminal spousal abuse. One is a corporal injury to a spouse, and the other is a spousal battery.
Spousal Battery Meaning in California
In California, the spousal battery is defined as any willful and unlawful touching that is harmful or offensive against a spouse, significant other, or former significant other. The prosecution must prove that you have or had a romantic relationship with the alleged victim to be convicted of this crime.
While this is frequently a misdemeanor charge, it can result in jail time, the length of which depends on the severity of the injuries sustained by the battered spouse or domestic partner.
A misdemeanor battery charge usually results in a 30-day jail sentence, though this is merely standard by practice, not in law. If you have never faced such a charge, your sentence will likely be less. In some instances, you may even only be sentenced to serve probation.
Corporal Injury Law in California
Corporal Injury to a spouse is most commonly considered a felony. Corporal Injury to a spouse is any activity that results in a traumatic condition for the victim. Like other domestic abuse charges, the crime does not need to be committed against a person to whom one is legally married.
This charge may be applied in any instance of corporal injury to a former spouse, roommate, former roommate, or any family member. If you are found guilty of a corporal injury domestic abuse charge, you will face jail time in state prison for up to four years or in a county jail for up to a year, in addition to a possible $6,000 fine.
If you or someone you know has been accused of domestic abuse, no matter the charge, the most critical step is to seek legal counsel. Please do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced San Jose criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich today.