A 17-year old was recently charged with aggravated assault-family violence, a type of domestic violence case, in Southwest Austin. While the child admitted that he attacked the alleged victim, his mother’s ex-boyfriend, he claimed that it was in self-defense and in defense of his mother. In California, self defense or defense of another is a valid domestic violence defense that the court may consider in dismissing a charge for aggravated domestic battery.

Details of Alleged Domestic Violence Incident

News reports said that the alleged victim is an alcoholic who was intoxicated when he returned home on the night of the incident. The complaining witness allegedly grabbed a shotgun and threatened to shoot both mother and son. The teenager and his mother allegedly feared for their lives when the alleged victim held the gun at them.

When the couple physically struggled over possession of the weapon, the teenager came to his mother’s rescue and tried to retrieve the shotgun from her boyfriend. During the struggle, the alleged victim managed to grab the teenager and his mother and choked them to the point that they could not breathe.

The child’s mother tried to flee but her boyfriend attacked her. At this point, the teenager struck the boyfriend on the back several times.

California Domestic Violence Charges

There are three types of domestic violence crimes in California:

  • Simple domestic battery under Penal Code Section 243(e)(1)
  • Aggravated Domestic Battery under Penal Code Section 243(d)
  • Corporal Injury to Spouse or Cohabitant under Penal Code Section 273.5

Simple battery is considered a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year of imprisonment, a fine of up to $2,000, or both. The more serious crime of aggravated domestic battery requires evidence that the alleged victim suffered serious bodily injury. In all cases of domestic violence, the prosecution must establish the relationship between the accused and the victim, and that the accused intentionally harmed the complainant, either by touching the complainant in a harmful or offensive manner (simple battery) or by inflicting serious bodily injury (aggravated domestic battery), or causing a traumatic condition as a result of the corporal injury.

Self defense or defense of another person as well as intimate partner battering syndrome are some of the valid domestic violence defenses that an accused can raise.

If you are facing a domestic violence charge in Los Angeles, California, the seasoned criminal defense attorneys of the Kestenbaum Law Group can help you. With over three decades of experience, Mr. David S. Kestenbaum has defended clients, a number of whom were involved in high profile cases.

We welcome your call today at (818) 616-4312 to speak to one of our attorneys about your situation.