On April 16, 2011 actor Nicholas Cage was arrested for a domestic violence and disturbing the peace charge in New Orleans. Cage was heavily intoxicated and got into an argument with his wife of six years in a tattoo parlor. The argument got violent and witnesses report that the actor pushed his wife several times. He continued the argument onto the street and refused to cooperate with officers on the scene. The officers were obliged to hand cuff him and charge him with disturbing the peace, as well as domestic abuse.
Domestic violence in California is usually charged under two sections of the Penal Code, §243 (e)(1) and §273.5. California Penal Code §243 (e)(1) charged battery against a spouse and §273.5 is corporal injury to a spouse. There is a valid domestic battery charge when a person inflicts force or violence on a partner. This partner can be a current, former or future spouse, someone a person lives with, the parent of their child, or even someone a person is dating. §273.5 is a more serious charge. It involves inflicting bodily injury on a partner, including the parent of a person’s child, current of former spouse, and someone with whom they have lived, or do live.
In order for Prosecution to establish a case under California Penal Code §273.5, they must prove that there was an infliction of bodily injury to a partner as described above, that there was a willful infliction of injury and it resulted in a traumatic condition. To establish a case for Domestic Battery, the Prosecution must prove that there was a willful infliction of force or violence upon a partner as described above. Domestic battery is the lesser offense for domestic violence. It is usually filed as a misdemeanor and a person can be convicted of domestic battery even if they did not physically injure their partner.
Regardless of which Penal Code section a person is charged under, one thing is certain, domestic violence is not taken lightly and can result in some serious consequences. A Los Angeles domestic violence attorney has handled thousands of similar cases and can prepare a powerful defense so that the charges have the best possible chance of being reduced or dismissed completely.