San Diego Criminal Defense

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San Diego Criminal Lawyer

Top Rated San Diego Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer

California Penal Code 243(e)(1) 

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If you or a family member has been charged with Domestic Violence Battery under California Penal Code 243(e)(1) PC, you need to consult with an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney immediately. These are serious charges that could have long term consequences on your family, your career, and your reputation. Only an experienced San Diego criminal defense lawyer can help you fight these charges and restore your reputation. 


Before speaking to law enforcement you should consult with a criminal defense attorney. Anything you say to law enforcement is likely to be used against you to secure a conviction. We are here to help you fight these charges, and protect yourself from any new charges. Our mission is to keep you out of jail, and to keep your record clean. Your peace of mind is our goal. 


San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney Nicholas Moore

Nicholas J. Moore

San Diego Criminal Lawyer


California Penal Code 243(e)(1)

Domestic Violence is defined as the deliberate application of unwanted and harmful, or offensive force upon a person with whom the defendant has a special relationship. 

A domestic violence charge requires the existance of a "special relationship" between the defendant and victim:

The "Special Relationship" of a domestic violence charge is defined by the following relationships to the defendant. If the victim is:

- a spouse

- a person with whom the defendant is cohabiting 

- a person who is the parent of the defendant's child 

- former spouse

- fiancé, or fiancée, or

- a person with whom the defendant currently has, or has previously had, a dating or engagement relationship


What is the definition of a co-habitant?

The term cohabitants means two unrelated persons living together for a substantial period of time, resulting in some permanency of the relationship. Factors that may determine whether people are cohabiting include, but are not limited to

(1) sexual relations between the parties while sharing the same residence,

(2) sharing of income or expenses,

(3) joint use or ownership of property,

(4) the parties’ holding themselves out as (husband and wife/domestic partners)

(5) the continuity of the relationship, and

(6) the length of the relationship.

What is a dating or engagement relationship and how is it defined?

The term dating relationship means frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement independent of financial considerations. This is a very low standard and there is no exact threshold for the length of time necessary to qualify a dating relationship - the test of whether or not a relationship existed may be the subjective opinions and interpretation of the victim - or it may be shown by statements made by the accused. 



Under PC 243(e)(1)

Some of these examples of domestic violence may surprise you: 

 Domestic violence is any deliberate harmful or offensive contact against a victim with whom the defendant has a "special relationship." That includes:

  • If you know you have an incurable STI such as HIV, HSV (Herpes), or HPV (Genital Warts) - and you do not inform your sexual partner of your status, you may be charged with felony domestic violence (battery with serious bodily injury). 

  • If you black-mail an ex girlfriend or spouse with pictures, you could be charged under domestic violence laws. 

  • Choking, slapping, or spitting on your significant other can be charged with domestic violence even if you do not leave any injury.  

  • Non-consensual sex is a form of domestic violence, and would also be charged as rape.

  • "Dosing" or "Spiking" food or drink with chemicals or harmful substances is domestic violence. This includes not only drugs and alcohol, but also substances to which a person has a known allergy (such as peanuts, or dairy). 


Penalties for a domestic violence conviction under PC 243(e)(1):

The punishment for battery can vary depending on a person's criminal history or parole status.  For first time offenders, the battery is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment. If probation is granted, Defendants must typically complete 52 weeks of a court certified domestic violence rehabilitation program as described in Section 1203.097, or if none is available, another appropriate counseling program designated by the court.



To convict a person of Domestic Violence under PC 243(e)(1), the government must prove:

(1) The defendant willfully and unlawfully touched the victim in a harmful or offensive manner;

(2) The Victim was a:

* spouse

* former spouse

* cohabitant

* former cohabitant

* person with whom the defendant has had a child

* person with whom the defendant is having or has had a dating relationship, or

* person who was or is engaged to the defendant


(3) The defendant did not act in self defense. 

* Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose. It is not required that he or she intend to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage.


* Making contact with another person, including through his or her clothing, is enough to commit a battery.


* A serious bodily injury means a serious impairment of physical condition. Such an injury may include, but is not limited to: loss of consciousness, concussion, bone fracture, protracted loss or impairment of function of any bodily member or organ, a wound requiring extensive suturing, and/or serious disfigurement.


* The touching can be done indirectly by causing an object or someone else to touch the other person