[Undisclosed Parties] v. Ministério Público

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Appellant A (name omitted from the public record) challenged the district court’s (Tribunal da Comarca) decision which convicted him of domestic violence, for having inflicted physical and psychological injuries on his spouse, who later filed for divorce. As provided under the Portuguese Penal Code, the crime of domestic violence occurs whenever a person—repeatedly or not—inflicts physical or psychological harm to their spouse or former spouse (Sec. 152). The Appellant argues that the occurrence of the crime of domestic violence requires repeated episodes of physical or psychological harm for the marital relation to be damaged by the injuries of the spouse. In this case, the Appellant argued that there was only one episode of physical and psychological injury, and he therefore should be tried for the lesser crime of inflicting bodily injury. The appellate court held that the crime of domestic violence is not characterized by repeated episodes of harm, but rather by the gravity of the harms inflicted. The appeal was denied.



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