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Penal Code Section 240 –Assault



Elements of the Crime

In Los Angeles assault is a crime that is commonly associated with domestic violence. The crime of assault, requires the prosecution to prove:

(1) You did an act that by its nature would directly and probably result in the application of force to a person;

(2) That you did that act willfully;

(3) When you acted, you were aware that that act would lead to the application of force to another person; AND

(4) When you acted you had the ability to apply force or make contact in a harmful or offensive way.

Under Penal Code Section 240 – Assault vocabulary:

1. Willfully is defined as an act done on purpose not accidental. It is not a requirement that he or she intended to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage.

2. Application of Force means any touching that is done in a harmful or offensive manner. Any touching can be enough to prove the crime of assault if it is done in a rude or harmful way. Application of force includes making contact with another person, including through his or her clothing. This unwanted touching for assault does not require anyone to be injured or pain of any kind.

Additional information for assault

The prosecution is not required to prove that the defendant actually and in fact touched someone to convict for assault.

The prosecution is not requires to prove that the defendant actually intended to use force against someone when they acted.

The victim does no need to actually be injured by the defendant in order to convict. However, if the victim is actually injured that can be used as evidence in deciding whether the act of assault was committed or not.

Penalties of the Crime

Assault is a misdemeanor offense. The penalties for assault can include a maximum of six months in jail.

Any conviction of a domestic violence related offense can lead to deportation, denial of naturalization and any other immigration benefits.

Common Defenses

False Accusations

The victim is liar and the alleged assault never took place.

Consent

Consent actually means that the alleged victim actually agreed to the act and it was not done against the victims will.

Self-Defense

You did the act in order to defend yourself.

Defense of Others

You did the act in order to defend someone else.

Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) –Battery against a spouse, cohabitant, or fellow parent.

Elements of the Crime

In Los Angeles a crime commonly associated with domestic violence is the crime of battery. Battery, requires the prosecution to prove:

(1) You intentionally and unlawfully touched the victim in a harmful or offensive manner; AND

(2) The victim of the battery is the defendant’s former or current spouse/cohabitant/fiancé/ or person with whom the defendant currently has, or has previously had a dating or engagement relationship with.

Under Penal Code Section 243(e)(1) – Battery against a spouse, cohabitant, or fellow parent vocabulary:

1. Violence is defined as using physical force that is greater than the force reasonably necessary to restrain someone.

2. Against a person’s will is defined as a person not consenting to the act. In order to consent, a person must act freely and voluntarily and know the nature of the act.

3. Willfully is defined as an act done on purpose not accidental. It is not a requirement that he or she intended to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage.

Additional Information

Battery against a spouse, cohabitant, or fellow parent can result from even the slightest touching if it is done in a rude or offensive way.

Penalties of the Crime

Battery against a spouse, cohabitant, or fellow parent is a misdemeanor that can result in up to one year in jail.

Any conviction of a domestic violence related offense can lead to deportation, denial of naturalization and any other immigration benefits.

Common Defenses

False Accusations

The victim is liar and the alleged assault never took place.

Consent

Consent actually means that the alleged victim actually agreed to the act and it was not done against the victims will.

Self-Defense

You did the act in order to defend yourself.

Defense of Others

You did the act in order to defend someone else.

Penal Code Section 273.5 –Corporal Injury to Spouse or Cohabitant or Fellow Parent Resulting in Traumatic Condition

Elements of the Crime

In Los Angeles the crime of domestic violence is more formally known as Corporal Injury to Spouse or Cohabitant or Fellow Parent Resulting in Traumatic Condition. Corporal Injury to Spouse or Cohabitant or Fellow Parent Resulting in Traumatic Condition, requires the prosecution to prove:

(1) The defendant willfully and unlawfully inflicted a physical injury on a former spouse/cohabitant/mother or father of a child/someone with whom they have had a previous engagement or dating relationship; AND

(2) The injury inflicted by the defendant resulted in a traumatic condition.

Under Penal Code Section 273.5 – Corporal Injury to Spouse or Cohabitant or Fellow Parent Resulting in Traumatic Condition:

1. Violence is defined as using physical force that is greater than the force reasonably necessary to restrain someone.

2. Against a person’s will is defined as a person not consenting to the act. In order to consent, a person must act freely and voluntarily and know the nature of the act.

3. Willfully is defined as an act done on purpose not accidental. It is not a requirement that he or she intended to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage.

4. Traumatic Condition is defined as any type of wound or other bodily injury, whether minor or serious, caused by the direct application of physical force.

Additional Information

Traumatic Condition is the result of an injury if the traumatic condition was the natural and probable consequence of the injury. Additionally, the injury was a direct and substantial factor in causing the condition. Lastly, the condition would not have happened without the injury.

Corporal Injury to Spouse or Cohabitant or Fellow Parent Resulting in Traumatic Condition is aimed at a continuous course of conduct. The prosecutor is not required to choose a particular act and the jury is not required to unanimously agree on the same act or acts before a guilty verdict can be returned.

Penalties of the Crime

Corporal Injury to Spouse or Cohabitant or Fellow Parent Resulting in Traumatic Condition is considered a wobbler meaning that it can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor. This usually depends on the extent of the injuries that the victim has suffered.

As a misdemeanor Corporal Injury to Spouse or Cohabitant or Fellow Parent Resulting in Traumatic Condition can result in up to 1 year in jail.

As a felony Corporal Injury to Spouse or Cohabitant or Fellow Parent Resulting in Traumatic Condition can result in up to 4 years in state prison.

Any conviction of a domestic violence related offense can lead to deportation, denial of naturalization and any other immigration benefits.

Common Defenses

False Accusations

The victim is liar and the alleged assault never took place.

Consent

Consent actually means that the alleged victim actually agreed to the act and it was not done against the victims will.

Self-Defense

You did the act in order to defend yourself.

Defense of Others

You did the act in order to defend someone else.

Accident

The injury was a result of a complete accident.

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