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Domestic Violence Penalties

The punishment for domestic violence cases usually depend on the seriousness of the incident and the prior criminal history of the defendant.  The maximum punishment for the various domestic violence crimes are as follows:

* Penal Code section 243(e)(1) – one year county jail

* Penal Code section 273.5 – one year county jail for misdemeanors; for felonies, 4 years state prison or 5 years state prison if the defendant has a prior conviction within 7 years for Penal Code section 273.5 or certain other types of violent offenses; if the GBI enhancement is alleged, then the charge becomes a strike under California’s Three Strikes Law.

Furthermore, if a defendant has a prior conviction for a specified violent offense within 7 years, the minimum jail time is 15 days.  Two prior convictions for a specified violent offense within 7 years will result in a 60-day minimum jail sentence.  Each of these minimum jail sentences can only be eliminated if the court finds good cause and states its reasons on the record.

Note that prior convictions for Penal Code section 243(e) are NOT part of the specified violent offenses that raise the penalties for Penal Code section 273.5(a).

* Penal Code section 273.6 – one year county jail for misdemeanors with a minimum of 30 days if there’s a physical injury; 3 years county prison pursuant to Penal Code section 1170(h)  if there’s a prior conviction for this offense within 7 years and there’s an act of violence or credible threat of violence.

* Penal Code section 273a – one year county jail for misdemeanors; 6 years state prison for felonies if the circumstances are likely to produce great bodily injury or death

* Penal Code section 273d – 6 years state prison normally; 10 years state prison under certain circumstances

In addition, any conviction of Penal Code section 243(e)(1), 273.6 or 273.6 where probation is imposed will result in a mandatory 52-week batterer’s treatment program.  This one year long domestic violence class can be imposed on any crime that is associated with domestic violence as well.  Any violation of Penal Code section 273a or 273d where probation is imposed will result in a minimum probationary period of 3-4 years and a mandatory 52-week child abuser’s treatment program.

Not only do domestic violence charges carry serious criminal penalties, but there are severe immigration consequences for domestic violence convictions as well.

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