Domestic Violence & Abuse

Domestic violence laws in California make it illegal to use physical force against or threaten harm to an intimate partner. Under Penal Code 273.5 PC, the infliction of corporal injury on an intimate partner is a serious crime. It is alternately known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, intentional infliction of corporal injury and wilful infliction of corporal injury.

To be guilty of wilful or intentional infliction of corporal injury, a person must intentionally injure their intimate partner physically, causing a “traumatic condition”. The presence of concrete physical injury distinguishes this crime from the lesser offence of domestic battery.

An “intimate partner” is defined as a:

  • Spouse or ex-spouse
  • Cohabitant or ex-cohabitant
  • Fiancé(e) or former fiancé(e),
  • Father or mother of that person’s child
  • A person that a defendant used to date