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What is Domestic Battery?
Everything You Need to Know

In a legal context, domestic battery is considered any willful or unlawful touching that is harmful or offensive committed against an intimate partner.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
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2 Types of Domestic Violence Crimes

In most states, there are 2 types of domestic violence crimes that you can be charged with.

  1. Domestic Battery – “Battery” committed against a person with whom you have an intimate relationship, which is the least serious, or
  2. Corporal Injury To A Spouse or Co-Habitant – Willfully inflicting corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition on a victim.

What Is the Difference Between Domestic Battery and Corporal Injury?

The difference between domestic battery and corporal injury to a spouse or co-habitant is that corporal injury means there was a physical injury inflicted. This means that the crime of corporal injury to a spouse is a type of domestic violence offense.

Corporal Injury Examples

The physical injuries resulting from corporal injuries are typically visible, but could also include internal injuries, such as internal bleeding. Examples of injuries that would be considered corporal injury include:

  • Bruising
  • Broken bones
  • Black eye
  • Severe abrasions
  • Swelling
  • Head trauma
  • Broken nose
  • Concussion

Penalties for Misdemeanor Domestic Violence

If charged with domestic battery, in most cases you will be required to pay a fine of $2000 and/ or serve a jail sentence of up to 1 year.

An attorney could get spousal battery charges reduced to lower or no jail time and fines. If the court agrees to no jail time, it might grant a probationary sentence, which might also include counseling.

Penalties for Felony Domestic Violence

If you are charged with felony domestic violence, you will serve up to 4 years in state prison. However, the sentence could be significantly longer, depending on the seriousness of the injuries you caused. You will also have to undergo mandatory domestic violence classes.

Additionally, if you have other acts of domestic violence on your records such as sexual assault, assault with a weapon, or attempted assault, you may receive a longer sentence and be required to pay bigger fines. Other factors in your criminal history may affect your sentence as well.

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