Defending a Domestic Violence Case in California
Defending a California Penal Code 243(e): Spousal/Domestic Violence
California Penal Code 243(e) is defined as a willful infliction of force or violence upon your intimate partner. This charge is also commonly called domestic violence, domestic abuse or spousal assault. This can include any form of physical violence such as pushing, hitting, shooting, etc. This is one of the most common charges in California that are considered criminal, and individuals charged of this crime should contact a criminal defense attorney right away.
Defenses Used for California Penal Code 243(e):
Attorneys use a number of defenses in order to lesson the charges or have the domestic violence charges thrown out. A competent attorney will use the details of the case and the circumstances surrounding the case to prove his or her client’s innocence. Some possible defenses include:
It is permitted by California law to use force in order to defend yourself. For instance, if a husband comes toward his wife with his fist drawn back, appearing as if he is going to hit her, the wife has the right to defend herself. If she should happen to pick up a weapon and hit him in the knee, for instance, to make him fall to the ground – she is not a criminal and a domestic violence charge is not warranted. She is allowed to use enough force to stop the attack on herself.
Defense of Others
By the same token, if one is defending someone else from an attacker, they can utilize force to do so. For instance, if a mother is in the middle of hitting her own child and an older sibling knocks the mother to the ground to stop the attack – hitting her head on the counter as she falls, the mother may claim domestic violence. However, since the older sibling was acting in defense of her younger sibling – it is actually permitted by law. If the force was used in defense of others, the charges of domestic violence will likely be dropped.
There are cases where individuals are injured by accident, and because of anger or miscommunication, someone is charged with domestic violence. For instance, Marcus and Maria are arguing, and Marcus storms out of the house and gets into the car. Maria follows him in an attempt to stop him, but he slams the car door as she sticks her hand out – injuring her hand by accident. Even though the two of them were arguing, Marcus didn’t mean to injure Maria’s hand. Through her anger, she may have seen it as a willful act, or she may just want to ‘get back’ at Marcus by calling the police.
Anyone who has been accused of domestic violence should contact a criminal defense attorney right away. The attorney can begin strategizing a legal defense as soon as he or she finds out the details of the case and what happened. This can prevent the accused from paying large fines and/or facing jail time that is undeserved. In some cases, the charges could be dropped all together.