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Domestic Violence: Laws Related to Domestic Violence

Listed below are the most common California Penal Code Sections used in domestic violence. For more information on the law, visit our Legal Information Page.

13700 PC Domestic Violence - Defined

Abuse committed against an adult or fully emancipated minor who is the spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, who has a dating relationship, former dating relationship, engagement relationship, former engagement relationship, or parties having a child in common.

273.5 PC Spousal Abuse or Cohabitant Abuse

  • Willfully inflicts corporal injury upon
  • Spouse or Cohabitant or Parties with a Child in Common
  • Results in a Traumatic condition
  • Verifiable Injury (Officer's observation or Medical exam)

243(e)(1) PC Battery

  • Willfully and unlawfully use force or violence against,
  • Spouse, cohabitant, parties with a child in common, non-cohabiting former spouse or fiancé/fiancée or a person with whom the defendant currently has or has previously had a dating relationship regardless of sexual orientation
  • Visible injury not necessary

422 PC Terrorist Threats

  • Threat to commit a crime which will result in Death or Great Bodily Injury
  • Must be unequivocal, unconditional, immediate and specific
  • Causes sustained fear for safety
  • To a person or their immediate family

646.9 PC Stalking

  • Willfully, maliciously and repeatedly follows or harasses
  • Makes a credible threat (Pattern of conduct by suspect, taken in totality, so that a reasonable person would fear for their safety or that of their immediate family)

591 PC Malicious Destruction of Phone Lines

  • Unlawfully and maliciously
  • Takes down, removes, injures or obstructs
  • Any telephone, telegraph or cable TV line, or any other line used to conduct electricity.

273.6 PC Violation of Domestic Violence Protective Order

  • Intentionally and knowingly violate a Domestic Violence Protective Order (including Emergency Protective Order, Temporary Restraining Order and Restraining Order)

12028.5 PC Family Violence/Firearms Seizure

The police at the scene of family violence, involving a threat to human life or physical assault, may take temporary custody of any firearm or deadly weapon in plain sight or by consensual search for the protection of the peace officer or other persons present. The police may retain the weapons up to 72 hours unless the weapons were seized as evidence or for an additional crime.

12021(g) PC Restrictions on Firearm Possession

Persons subject to a restraining order may not obtain, receive, purchase or otherwise acquire a firearm.

The person must know they are subject to the restraining order and the restraining order must contain in bold print that they are prohibited from receiving or purchasing or attempting to receive or purchase a firearm, and the penalties. (This does not apply if a firearm is received as part of a community property settlement).

6389 PC Relinquishment Of Firearms

Prohibits person subject to a Domestic Violence protective order from owning or possessing a firearm while protective order is in effect.

Exemption may be granted if a firearm is a necessary condition of employment. A person may possess only during scheduled work hours and during travel to and from work.

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