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Facing a Domestic Violence Charge in California

Domestic violence charges are incredibly serious in California. Those convicted of domestic violence face serious jail time, a permanent criminal record, and expensive fines.

Law Office of Lisa Kopelman
Law Office of Lisa Kopelman January 3rd, 2020

Additionally, your family member can issue a restraining order against you that prevents you from entering your home, being near your spouse, or significant other, or seeing your child. Domestic violence charges come with social stigmas.


Many times, innocent individuals face domestic violence charges. Due to the nature of the offense, it can be difficult for law enforcement officers to determine who the primary aggressor is in some domestic violence situations. If you are facing domestic violence charges in Irvine and Orange County, California, the Law Offices of Lisa A. Kopelman can help. With over 30 years of experience defending criminal charges, Lisa A. Kopelman and her team offer clients effective and thorough representation. Contact our law firm today to learn how our firm can help you fight for your rights.


Under California law, domestic violence refers to a set of criminal laws, rather than one singular crime. The following statutes criminalize domestic violence in California:

  • Infliction of corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant – PC 273.5
  • Domestic battery – PC 243(e)(1)
  • Child abuse – PC 273d
  • Criminal threats – PC 422 (when the target is one of the specified victims below)
  • Assault with a deadly weapon or force likely to inflict great bodily injury – PC 245(a)(1) (when the target is one of the specified victims below)
  • Any assault or battery when the target is one of the victims specified below.
  • Elder abuse may also be treated as domestic violence depending on the relationship

Per California law, a defendant cannot inflict a “corporal injury” resulting in a “traumatic condition” upon the following victims:

  • A former or current spouse or significant other
  • A former or current cohabitant
  • The father or mother of the defendant’s child

A traumatic condition is “a wound or other bodily injury, whether minor or serious, caused by the direct application of physical force.” A defendant may face charges for domestic violence if his or her act inflicts any visible injury on a protected person. Visible injuries include bruising, swelling, broken bones, cuts, marks, or any other visible bodily injury.