Infliction of corporal injury is often a key factor in many domestic violence, child abuse, and spousal abuse cases. State laws may vary regarding the definition of such crimes, but they often define willful corporal injury as the willful or intentional infliction of injury upon an intimate partner or child, resulting in a “traumatic condition” in the victim.
Many corporal injury cases involve repeated or cyclical patterns of abuse. These repeated instances are often case wherein the “traumatic condition” is more pronounced. However, cases can also involve single incidents. The crime is often classified under names such as “willful infliction of corporal injury upon an intimate partner,” or other similar names.
Examples of acts that may lead to corporal injury charges include striking, punching, kicking, grabbing, and strangling.
What Are the Legal Consequences of Corporal Injury Violations?
In many states, intentional infliction of corporal injury is considered a “wobbler” offense. This means that it may either be tried as a misdemeanor or a felony charge. Misdemeanor charges may result in consequences that include criminal fines and/or jail time. Felony charges result in higher fines and longer sentences. Felonies may also result in the person losing various privileges, such as the right to own a firearm, or child custody rights.
The seriousness of the legal consequences may be dependent on several factors including:
- The degree of injury to the victim, since serious bodily injury can result in greater penalties
- Whether or not there is a pattern of cyclical abuse
- Whether the offender has previous criminal charges
Are There Any Defenses to Corporal Injury Claims?
Depending on the circumstances, there may be some defenses available in a corporal injury case. These can include:
- The actions did not result in a “traumatic condition” in the victim
- The conduct was not willful or intentional
On the other hand, if a corporal injury claim is not proven, it is still possible for other criminal charges to be pursued. For instance, the defendant may be charged with assault or other charges rather than corporal injury or domestic violence.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Corporal Injury Laws?
Corporal injury crimes can sometimes lead to very serious legal penalties. You may need to hire a family lawyer in your area if you need help with any type of criminal charges. Your lawyer can research the laws in your area to determine what types of laws may apply to the case. Also, if you need to attend any hearings or meetings, your lawyer can provide you with representation during formal court sessions.