Although there are many different types of domestic violence, one of the most frequently found forms is when it is between spouses. California Penal Code § 273.5 and §243(e)(1) address spousal violence.
CPC § 273.5 makes it a felony for a person to inflict corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition against a spouse. A spouse as defined in this section will also include a former spouse, someone you have lived with or do live with, or the mother or father of your child. Additionally, a visible injury is required to be charged with this offense, even if it is a slight bruise or swelling.
CPC § 243(e)(1) addresses a lesser charge than CPC § 273.5. CPC § 273.5 will be charged as a felony whereas §243(e)(1) is a misdemeanor battery charge. Under this section, a person will be charged with battery if it is committed against a spouse. The section also extends battery upon not just a spouse, but also someone with whom you are living, someone to whom you are engaged, the parent of your child, a former spouse or someone whom you are dating.