September 29, 2023 By Paul Wallin

Everything You Need To Know About Corporal Injury

Being charged with corporal injury in California can have serious consequences for an individual’s future. In California, the crime of corporal injury is defined as any willful and unlawful use of force or violence against another person that results in a traumatic condition. Depending on the specifics of the offense, someone could be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony. A conviction could mean years of jail or prison time, as well as hefty fines and court-ordered counseling.

Choosing Wallin & Klarich to represent your case puts you in a better position to receive the best outcome for your case. We have over 40 years of experience in Southern California. Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL  for your free appeal consultation!

California Penal Code 273.5

California Penal Code 273.5 defines corporal injury on a spouse. Under this law, it is illegal to inflict injury on someone living with you. This can include a spouse, significant other, and even roommates. 

In order to secure a guilty verdict in this particular case, the prosecutor must establish the following elements “beyond a reasonable doubt”:

  1. The defendant intentionally caused bodily harm.
  2. The victim was either a spouse, former spouse, romantic partner, former romantic partner, cohabitant, or the parent of the defendant’s child.
  3. The bodily harm resulted in a condition that can be classified as “traumatic.”

According to the legal definition, a “traumatic condition” encompasses wounds or both external and internal injuries, such as those caused by strangulation or suffocation, regardless of severity, inflicted by physical force.


California Penal Code 273.5 can be a felony or a misdemeanor. Below are the penalties for each:

  • Misdemeanor
    • Up to 1 year in county jail, and/or
    • Up to $6,000 fine
  • Felony
    • 2-4 years in prison, and/or
    • Up to $6,000 fine

In addition to the criminal penalties that may result from a corporal injury charge, there are also personal consequences that can be long-lasting. Even after completing a sentence, someone convicted of corporal injury in California may have difficulty finding employment, housing, or other necessary services. A felony conviction can also result in the loss of many civil rights. It is important to have an experienced defense attorney on your side who can help you receive the best possible outcome for your case. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have 40+ years of experience representing cases like yours. Call our office today for a free consultation. 


There are several valid defenses that can be utilized against a charge of corporal injury. Here are some defenses that we have successfully employed when representing clients facing a charge of corporal injury to a spouse:

Acting in Self-Defense or Defense of Another: One of the most effective defenses is demonstrating that you used physical force solely in self-defense or to protect someone else.

Lack of Intent to Inflict Injury: A crucial aspect of this offense is the requirement that you willfully intended to cause harm to your spouse or cohabitant. In order to secure a conviction for spousal abuse, the prosecution must prove that you had the specific intent to inflict injury.

Absence of a Traumatic Condition: According to California Penal Code 273.5, a charge of causing a “traumatic condition” can only be sustained if the victim suffers an injury as a result of your actions. If no injuries are sustained, your spousal abuse lawyer can potentially have the charges dismissed.

Consent for the Accused’s Actions: If the alleged victim of spousal abuse consented to the physical force used by the defendant, this can serve as a defense. This typically applies in situations where the injury occurred during athletic activities or consensual sexual play.

These defenses have been successfully employed in the representation of our clients facing corporal injury to a spouse charges. However, each case is different and you need an experienced defense attorney who can look at the specific facts of your case and raise the defense(s) that best suit your case. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have decades of experience representing cases like yours. We know the best defenses to use to get the best possible outcome for your case. Plus, we offer exceptional service, experience, and affordable payment options to help you manage the cost of hiring a defense attorney.

Contact Wallin & Klarich Today 

If you have been accused of corporal injury, you need an aggressive defense attorney to fight for your freedom. With 40+ years of experience, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have helped thousands of clients win their cases or get their charges reduced to a lesser degree. We know the most effective defenses to argue on your behalf, and we will do everything in our power to help you achieve the best possible result in your case. 

You may not be aware of all your options. Calling our office costs you nothing, but picking up the phone could be the difference between years in prison and years of freedom. Let our skilled attorneys examine your case to find the best way to avoid prison.Discover how our team can assist you. Contact us today, toll-free at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation with a skilled defense attorney.

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