What Constitutes Domestic Violence in California?
Crimes of domestic violence are treated more harshly than other assault and battery crimes. In California, domestic violence crimes are governed by Section 273.5 of the California Penal Code.
The California Penal Code defines domestic violence as an altercation between spouses, former spouses, cohabiting couples, or former cohabiting couples, that results in a traumatic bodily injury. The Code defines “traumatic bodily injury” as “internal or external wound caused by physical force.
In other words, almost any identifiable injury including a cut or bruise will constitute a “traumatic bodily injury”. Broken bones or black eyes are not required.
As with all California criminal allegations, the state has the burden of proof. This means the state must prove all of the elements of the domestic violence crime in order to obtain a conviction.