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Penal Code 243(e)(1) - Domestic Battery (Domestic Violence) with No Injury

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To prove you are guilty of PC 243(e)(1), Domestic Battery to a Partner/Spouse with No Injury, the DA must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:


  1. You willfully, and unlawfully, touched someone in a harmful or offensive manner;

  2. The accused person is your former spouse, cohabitant, fiancé, or person with whom you currently have, or previously had, a dating relationship or engagement, or relationship such as the mother or father of your child; AND

  3. You did not act in self-defense or in defense of someone else.


What does “willfully” mean?

Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose. It doesn’t matter whether or not you intended to break the law. 

What is battery with no injury?

The slightest touching can be enough to commit a battery even if it is done in a rude or angry way. Making contact with another person, including through his or her clothing, is enough. The touching does not have to cause pain or injury of any kind. The touching can be done indirectly by causing an object, or someone else, to touch the other person. 

Who is a cohabitant or any person protected under this law?

A cohabitant is two unrelated persons living together for a substantial period of time, resulting in some permanency of the relationship. Factors that may determine whether people are cohabiting include (1) sexual relations between the parties while sharing the same residence, (2) sharing of income or expenses, (3) joint use or ownership of property, (4) the parties’ considering themselves as husband, wife, or domestic partner), (5) the continuity of the relationship, and (6) the length of the relationship.

What is a dating relationship?

A dating relationship means frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement independent of financial considerations.

Who is considered a mother/father of the child?

A person is considered to be the mother/father of another person’s child if the alleged male or female parent is presumed under the law to be the natural father.

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