It’s not uncommon for any relationship to have conflicts .So many people are being abused in their relationships, and the vulnerable are the ones being subjected to torture. That’s why California’s domestic abuse laws came into force. In California, one may be charged with abuse even if it’s not causing injury to a partner. But what happens if these conflicts escalated to bodily harm? This is when the law comes in place. The consequences can be severe; thus, one may need to have someone conversant with the law to help them understand what constitutes the law and how they can have strong legal defenses.
The Elements Of Corporal Injury To A Spouse Or Cohabitant
Corporal Injury on a spouse or a cohabitant is using physical force to marriage partner or a significant other that results in the individual suffering for a traumatic condition. If you are convicted of such a crime, this may mean having a criminal record that will haunt you the rest of your life or spending your life in jail. Anyone charged with corporal injury may be faced by either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the severity of the case. If you have been charged with such a crime, it would be better to contact a domestic violence attorney in Los Angeles. For any domestic violence to be considered an intent crime, some elements are taken into consideration:
- 1st element: Willful means you have intended to perform the alleged criminal act. To be convicted for corporal injury, the prosecutor must prove that you had a deliberate intent to use unlawful force on your partner.
- 2nd element: The inflicted party should either be a cohabitant or a spouse. The injury sustained should have led to a traumatic condition. You may not have the intention of striking your spouse, but if the injuries you inflicted caused your partner to suffer from a traumatic condition, the prosecutor may use this to prove your intent to have committed the crime. Even a slight injury may be deemed to cause a traumatic condition.
- 3rd element: There must be injury caused that resulted to a traumatic condition: If you used physical force to an individual to whom you had a relationship and this led to an injury no matter how small, you will be charged. In this context, corporal injury tends to be more serious compared to domestic battery. Some examples of the injuries that may result in such include internal bleeding, bruises, broken arms or legs.
A traumatic condition is considered to stem from an injury if:
- It was the probable cause of the injuries suffered
- There was a direct relationship between the injuries suffered and the traumatic condition
- Were it not for the injuries, and the traumatic condition would not have happened
California’s domestic violence law ensures that corporal injury crime offenders face severe punishments in California. The offense is considered to be a “wobbler” offense. Meaning, you will either face a misdemeanor or felony charge. If you are charged with a misdemeanor for the corporal injury, you may either face up to 4 years in jail or be subjected to a fine of up to $6,000. For the felony consequence, the offender can face from 2 to 4 years in prison with the same penalty of $ 6,000 applying. However, this will depend on the circumstances of your case, such as:
- The severity of injuries inflicted to the alleged victim
- Prior criminal history
- Other witnesses involved in the alleged crime
- The prosecutor can determine whether to file or dismiss a charge after the above considerations.
But with the help of a domestic violence lawyer, you may have your case reduced to probation under the California criminal law.
Legal Defenses To Corporal Injury Charges
You, domestic violence lawyer, may help you take the below positions:
- That the injury you caused was by accident: You may argue that the injury could have resulted from heated arguments with your spouse or cohabitant, and you had no intention of causing injury to your partner.
- That you acted in self-defense. You may argue that the force used was no more than that which could have been used to defend yourself against the danger. Or, the force you used was necessary to secure from the imminent danger that faced you
- You were accused falsely: You can argue that your spouse accused you falsely due to a desire for revenge.
Though every case is unique, an experienced lawyer will use the best defenses that maybe ensure you get the best possible outcome for your case. If you have been accused of a corporal injury, get a legal expert as quickly as possible. Look for that lawyer who has skillfully defended their clients in similar cases. Your lawyer will have a free initial consultation with you to ensure you understand any technicality that may arise from your case.