Domestic violence charges can have serious consequences, whether prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony. This includes not only possible prison sentence if charged as a felony, but also a lifetime ban under Federal law of your Second Amendment rights to buy, own, and possess firearms [18 USC §§ 921(a)(33)(A), 922(g)(9)]– even if charged as a misdemeanor only.
In California, the two primary statutes that the District Attorney relies on to charge domestic violence crimes include Penal Code section 243(e)(1), a misdemeanor, and Penal Code section 273.5(a), a felony that can be charged as a misdemeanor.
Penal Code section 243(e)(1) defines the crime of Battery on a Spouse, Cohabitant, Parent of the Defendant’s Child, Former Spouse, Fiancé/Fiancée, or a Person with whom the Defendant has had or has a Dating Relationship with. Although a “straight” misdemeanor, conviction of this offense carries up to one year in the County Jail, the requirement to participate in a 52-week Batterer’s Treatment Program if granted probation, and a lifetime ban under federal law of your right to buy, possess, and own firearms.
Penal Code section 273.5(a) defines Corporal Injury to a Spouse, Cohabitant, Child’s Parent, or Person with whom the Defendant is in a Dating Relationship. It is a felony punishable by up to four years in the State Prison, but can be charged or reduced to a misdemeanor. It requires a defendant to participate in a 52-week Batterer’s Treatment if granted probation, and also leads to a lifetime ban on your firearm rights if convicted, even if reduced or charged as a misdemeanor.
Fortunately, the knowledgeable, trial-tested attorneys at Honeychurch & Boyd have extensive experience in defending domestic violence offenses, and have achieved great results for their clients in these matters. If you are charged with a domestic violence offense, do not hesitate to call Honeychurch & Boyd today for a free consultation to see how our effective attorneys may be able to help you achieve the best outcome for your case.