What are the factors or elements of 243(e)(1) PC?
Under California’s domestic battery law, Penal Code 243(e)(1) PC, domestic battery is any willful and unlawful touching that is harmful or offensive—and is committed against
- The defendant’s spouse or former spouse,
- The defendant’s cohabitant or former cohabitant,
- The defendant’s fiancé(e) or former fiancé(e),
- A person with whom the defendant has or used to have a dating relationship, or
- The father or mother of the defendant’s child.
A defendant can be convicted of domestic battery (sometimes known as “spousal battery”) even if the “victim” is not injured in any way. All that’s required is that the defendant use “force” or “violence” against him/her.
This distinguishes domestic battery from the related domestic violence offense of corporal injury on a spouse, cohabitant, or fellow parent—which requires that the victim suffer some form of physical injury.