California Penal Code Section 273.5 - Case Laws Example

In People v. Johnson (2007) 150 Cal.App.4th 1467, the court interpreted section 273.5, subdivision (a), a statute which is similar to section 273d, subdivision (a), in that it prohibits willfully inflicting on a spouse or cohabitant "corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition." ( 273.5 subd. (a).) In Johnson, defendant contended he could not be convicted of three counts of violation of section 273.5 for injuries inflicted during a single continuous assault. The court rejected that argument and concluded: "The section is violated only if corporal injury results from the 'direct application of force on the victim by the defendant.' The statute proscribes a 'very particularized battery.' The essence of any battery is the touching of the victim. In section 273.5, the touching must result in bodily injury. Thus, evidence of one punch to the face resulting in a black eye would constitute a completed violation of section 273.5. The Court concluded, therefore, that the crime described by section 273.5 is complete upon the willful and direct application of physical force upon the victim, resulting in a wound or injury. It follows that where multiple applications of physical force result in separate injuries, the perpetrator has completed multiple violations of section 273.5." (Johnson, supra, 150 Cal.App.4th at p. 1477.)