Prosecuting Corporal Injury to Spouse

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Prosecuting Corporal Injury to Spouse 

Prosecuting PC 273.5(a) cases can be difficult for the prosecutor for a list of reasons:

Uncooperative Victim or Witnesses

First and foremost, it’s difficult for the prosecutor to get witnesses and victims to appear in court. The most common victims of domestic abuse crimes are women, often times these women rely on the defendant for their livelihood, and the livelihood of their children.

The victims often fear that taking legal action will lead to more violence, or that a conviction will lead to the victim struggling for money. The victims will then opt to drop the charges, refuse to give statements, or fail to appear in court.

Lack of Evidence

Another problem for prosecutors is the lack of evidence in domestic abuse cases. In cases where physical violence is visible the officers on the scene are supposed to take pictures as evidence. If these pictures don’t show any sign of corporal violence or corporal injury to spouse the case becomes increasingly difficult to prosecute under corporal injury to spouse CA Penal Code 273.5(a) PC because the case will have to be built around the officer’s statement.

It’s interesting to note that even if a victim decides to drop all charges, the case might not necessarily be dropped by the state. In California, domestic abuse or corporal injury to spouse is treated as a crime against the victim and a crime against the state and if the prosecutor feels like he or she has a case they will pursue a conviction.

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