We have all had arguments with our significant others. That’s part of a relationship. But if it escalates you might well end up arrested for domestic violence. Since the OJ Simpson case, police have treated domestic violence cases seriously. It used to be that police were loath to get in the middle of disputes between a husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend. They would usually try to de-escalate the situation, and make sure no one was hurt. If that was the case, the police officers would give a warning and that was that. The next day the lovers would make up and move on with life.

However, this all changed after the OJ Simpson case. Now, the reality is that even if there is an accusation by one party against the other, usually police will make an arrest and ask questions later. All the police are concerned about is making the arrest and separating the parties. Usually it is the male who gets arrested. The police essentially leave it up to the prosecutor to decide if they will prosecute or not.

Domestic violence breaks down into two separate charges:

PC 243(e)(1) Misdemeanor Domestic Violence

You can be charged with a misdemeanor domestic violence charge California Penal Code 243(e)(1). This kind of case is charged when there isn’t actually any physical injury. When the victim is pushed, or their clothes are torn, or hair is pulled, or scratches are made on the face. This will lead to a classic charge of a misdemeanor PC 243(e)(1). You can face up to one year in prison and a $2,000 fine. You would also be required to complete a Batter’s Treatment Program, which is a one year program.

PC 273.5 Felony or Misdemeanor Domestic Violence (A Wobbler)

You can be charged with a felony domestic violence charge California Penal Code 273.5 Corporal Injury on Spouse. This involves some type of physical injury such as bruises, cuts, and sometimes broken bones. Depending on the severity of the injuries and prior history, this can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor. This makes this charge a wobbler. It could be misdemeanor or felony.

If this is charged as a misdemeanor the maximum sentence is same as the above. If this is charged as a felony, you could be facing up to 3 years in prison. You will also lose the right to own a fire arm, and you may lose your professional license if you have one.

Moreover, the conviction of crime of domestic violence will lead to a consequence of deportation if you are not a citizen of the United States of America. It does not matter if this charge is a Felony or Misdemeanor.

It is Vital to Hire an Attorney Before Charges are Officially Filed by the Prosecutor

A domestic violence case is one of those cases where it is very difficult to “un-ring” the bell once charges have been filed. It is vital to hire an attorney before the case gets to the prosecutor. A lot can be done in these particular cases to avoid filing. Of course, each case is different, but we are experienced in domestic violence cases, and know what can be done to increase the chances of the case not being filed. Mr. Jeffery K. Rubenstein is a former prosecutor who prosecuted domestic violence cases in Los Angeles County. He knows how a domestic violence case is handled by the prosecutor, and he knows what to do to mitigate the situation.


If you have been arrested for domestic violence, call right away. We have a good success rate in resolving these cases without having to go to court. It is vital you call right away. You have a lot to lose by not doing so.

–Philip Cho

Law Office of Jeffery K. Rubenstein




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