California law defines battery as the unlawful and intentional use of violence or force against someone else. Battery is considered a serious crime and the penalties can be severe, including jail time, probation, and fines.

If you are facing battery charges, it is essential to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Our skilled attorneys at Los Angeles Criminal Attorney may be able to examine the facts of your case and develop a strong defense to help you fight your charges.

The Legal Definition of Battery

Penal Code 242 PC is the California statute that defines the battery offense. This section makes it a crime for a person to: willfully and unlawfully touch another person in a harmful or offensive way; and do so without that person's consent.

The elements of a battery include:

  • unlawful touching or striking another person;
  • Willfully, and;
  • In a harmful or offensive manner

Unlawfully touching another person

In a battery case, unlawful touching is considered to be any physical contact that is made without the consent of the other person. This can include anything from a light push to a more violent act, such as a punch or a kick. To prove unlawful touching, the prosecution must show that the defendant offensively touched the victim. The touching does not have to be done with the intent to harm the victim, but it must be done in a way that a reasonable person would find offensive.

Willfully

The term "willfully" means that the defendant committed the act on purpose. Note that you are said to act willfully even without intending to benefit from the touch, injure the other person, or break the law. In other terms, you could still be convicted for battery even if you did not intend to commit the battery as long as you intended to commit an act that turned out as battery.

In a harmful or offensive manner

You can only be convicted for battery if you committed the act in a harmful or offensive way. This means that for an act to result in battery, it must have been done in a violent, angry, rude, or manner that a reasonable human would consider disrespectful.

Is Battery the Same as Assault?

Assault is defined under PC 240 as using force or violence against another person causing them great bodily harm with the intent to commit battery. For example, Peter and Paul get into a heated argument. Peter tries to hit Paul but he misses him; this is considered an assault because he did not touch him.

However, in a battery case, there has to be actual contact. For example, if you cut the line at a store by pushing another person away, you could face a battery charge.

The similarity between the two offenses is that they are categorized in different degrees and the higher the degree, the higher the punishment.

What are the Penalties for Battery in California?

The punishment for battery against a police officer in California is much harsher than the punishment for battery against a civilian. Penalties for battery in California are some of the harshest in the country. The maximum prison sentence for a first-degree felony charge of aggravated battery against a police officer is 14 years. The maximum prison sentence for a second-degree felony charge of aggravated battery against a police officer is four years. The maximum prison sentence for a misdemeanor charge of battery against a police officer is one year.

The maximum prison sentence for a first-degree felony charge of aggravated battery against a civilian is eight years. The maximum prison sentence for a second-degree felony charge of aggravated battery against a civilian is three years. The maximum prison sentence for a misdemeanor charge of battery against a civilian is six months.

Note that there are several factors that the court may consider when setting penalties, including the severity of the offense, the criminal history of the offender, and the impact of the offense on the victim.

Other consequences you may face if you are convicted of aggravated battery include:

  • Loss of your right to possess a firearm
  • Loss of your right to vote
  • Loss of your right to travel outside the country
  • Loss of your right to serve on a jury
  • Loss of your right to obtain certain professional licenses
  • Loss of your right to possess a teaching credential
  • Loss of your right to possess a private security license
  • Loss of your right to possess a bail license

Common Legal Defenses of Battery Charges

There are several defenses that can be raised in response to a battery charge. Some of the most common defenses include:

Consent

If the victim consented to physical contact, then the defendant cannot be guilty of battery. For example, if two people engage in a consensual fight, then neither person can be charged with battery. If the victim consented to physical contact, then the defendant cannot be guilty of battery. For example, if two people engage in a consensual fight, then neither person can be charged with battery.

Self-defense

 If the defendant reasonably believed that he or she was in imminent danger of being harmed and used a reasonable amount of force to defend himself or herself, then he or she may have a claim of self-defense. If the defendant reasonably believed that he or she was in imminent danger of being harmed and used a reasonable amount of force to defend himself or herself, then he or she may have a claim of self-defense.

Defense of others

If the defendant reasonably believed that another person was in imminent danger of being harmed and used a reasonable amount of force to defend the other person, then he or she may have a claim of defense of others. If the defendant reasonably believed that another person was in imminent danger of being harmed and used a reasonable amount of force to defend the other person, then he or she may have a claim of defense of others.

False accusation

If the victim falsely accused the defendant of battery, then the defendant may have a claim for malicious prosecution. If the victim falsely accused the defendant of battery, then the defendant may have a claim for malicious prosecution.

Mistaken identity

If someone else committed the battery and the defendant is being falsely accused, then he or she could assert a claim of mistaken identity. If someone else committed the battery and the defendant is being falsely accused, then he or she could assert a claim of mistaken identity.

Insanity

If the defendant was insane at the time of the alleged battery, then he or she may be able to assert an insanity defense. If the defendant was insane at the time of the alleged battery, then he or she may be able to assert an insanity defense.

Insufficient evidence

If the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, then the defendant and his\her attorney may be able to get the charges dismissed.

There are different types of battery crimes in California. The most common types include:

Aggravated battery

An aggravated battery is a serious crime that occurs when someone intentionally uses force against another person, causing great bodily harm. This can be done with a weapon or by using physical force. The penalties for aggravated battery can be very severe, including prison time and large fines.

Sexual battery

Sexual battery is defined under California PC 243.4 as

touching another person for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse, and the victim does not consent to the touching. The touching does not have to be skin-on-skin contact; it can be clothing-on-skin contact. Sexual battery is a wobbler, meaning it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the case and the defendant's criminal history. If charged as a misdemeanor, the maximum sentence is one year in county jail. If charged with a felony, the maximum sentence is four years in state prison.

Sexual battery can occur in different forms. The first form is when the defendant touches an intimate part of the victim's body, whether the victim's skin or the victim's clothing covering the intimate body part. The second is when the defendant forces the victim to touch an intimate part of the defendant's body, either directly or through the defendant's clothing. The third is when the defendant forces the victim to touch him or herself sexually. The fourth is when the defendant forces the victim to masturbate or touch someone else for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification. The final form is when the defendant forces the victim to have sexual intercourse with him or her.

Lewd and lascivious battery

The crime of lewd and lascivious battery is committed when a person touches a child under the age of 16 in a sexual manner. The touching does not have to be done with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desires of the perpetrator. The crime can be committed with the intent to harm the child. The crime of lewd and lascivious battery is a felony in California. The maximum punishment for the crime is ten years in prison. The crime is also a sex offense in California. A person who is convicted of the crime will be required to register as a sex offender in California.

Domestic battery

In California, domestic battery is defined as any willful and unlawful touching or use of force on another person with whom the offender has a specific type of relationship. This type of relationship is typically defined as a familial or intimate relationship. Domestic battery can also be charged as a hate crime if the victim is targeted due to their race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. Penalties for domestic battery in California can range from a misdemeanor charge to felony charge. If charged as a misdemeanor, you may be convicted for up to one year in county jail and pay a maximum fine of $2,000. If convicted of a felony, the offender may face up to four years in state prison and a fine of up to $6,000. In addition to any criminal penalties, a conviction for domestic battery can also result in a restraining order being issued against the offender. Restraining orders are court orders that prohibit the defendant from contacting the victim. A Violation of restraining orders is a serious crime that can cause additional penalties.

Battery against an elder person

Battery against an elderly is a crime that involves the intentional and wrongful use of force or violence against a person who is 65 years of age or older. This crime is punishable by up to four years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Battery on a peace officer

Battery on a peace officer is an offense committed when a person unlawfully touches a peace officer during his or her performance of their duties. The penalties for this offense depend on the severity of the battery and whether the peace officer was injured. If the peace officer was not injured, the offense is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $2,000. If the peace officer was injured, the offense is a wobbler, punishable as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If charged as a misdemeanor, the offense is punishable by up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $2,000. If charged as a felony, the offense is punishable by two, three, or four years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If the peace officer was seriously injured, the offense is a felony punishable by three, five, or seven years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Civil Battery Cases

A battery case can either be civil or criminal. A civil case is one where the victim sues the person who committed the battery. A criminal charge is one where the state charges the person with a crime. The state has the burden of proof in a criminal case. The victim has the burden of proof in a civil case. In a civil case, the victim must show that:

  • The defendant intended to harm the victim
  • The defendant harmed the victim.

In a criminal case, the state must show that the person who committed the battery intended to harm the victim. The state does not have to show that the person who committed the battery harmed the victim. The punishment for a civil battery case is usually money. The punishment for a criminal battery case is usually jail time.

Probation

If you are placed on probation for a battery charge in California, you may be required to do any or all of the following:

  • Serve a jail sentence
  • Be placed on summary or informal probation
  • Be placed on formal probation
  • Be ordered to pay a fine
  • Be ordered to attend anger management classes
  • Be ordered to stay away from the victim; and/or
  • Be ordered to perform community service.

Restitution

Restitution is a mandatory element of sentencing for a conviction of misdemeanor battery. The amount of restitution is at the discretion of the sentencing judge and must be based on the financial losses incurred by the victim as a result of the defendant’s actions. The following are some examples of financial losses that may be included in an order of restitution:

  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Counseling expenses
  • Medical bills

A restitution order may also require the defendant to pay for the victim’s travel expenses if the victim had to travel a significant distance to attend court proceedings.

Pleas and Pre-Trial Options

If you are facing battery charges in California, you may have several options other than going to trial and potentially spending time in prison. You have the right to plead guilty or not guilty to the charges against you. You may also be able to reach a plea agreement with the prosecutor in your case. This is where you agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for the prosecutor dropping the more serious charge against you. You may also be able to get the charges against you dismissed entirely. This is often done if there is insufficient evidence to convict you of the charges, or if the victim decides not to press charges.

If you go to trial, you will have the opportunity to present your defense and argue why you should not be convicted of the charges against you. The jury will then decide whether or not you are guilty. If you are convicted, the judge will sentence you. If you are facing battery charges, it is important that you talk to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will be able to review the evidence against you and help you decide what the best course of action is in your case.

Related Offenses

There are several offenses that are charged with or alongside battery in California. These offenses include:

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Assault with a deadly weapon, as codified in Penal Code 245(a)(1), is the unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on another person using deadly weapons. A "deadly weapon" is defined as any object that is capable of causing death or great bodily injury. This includes not only firearms, but also knives, clubs, and even vehicles.

To be convicted of this offense, the prosecution must prove three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That the defendant committed an assault, meaning an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on another person.
  • That the defendant used a lethal weapon in the commission of the assault.
  • That the defendant had the specific intent to commit a violent injury to the victim

If the prosecution is unable to prove any of these elements, then the defendant cannot be convicted of this offense. Assault with deadly weapons is related to battery in that both crimes involve the use of force or violence against another person.

Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is defined as "the intentional or negligent infliction of physical, emotional, or financial harm on a senior citizen." Elder abuse can take several different forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, and neglect.

  • Physical abuse of a senior citizen is defined as "the intentional or negligent infliction of physical pain or injury upon a senior citizen." Physical abuse can include but is not limited to, hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, or burning.
  • Sexual abuse of a senior citizen is defined as "the intentional or negligent sexual assault or battery of a senior citizen." Sexual abuse can include but is not limited to, rape, sexual assault, or sexual battery.
  • Emotional abuse of a senior citizen is defined as "the intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress upon a senior citizen." Emotional abuse can include but is not limited to, verbal abuse, mental abuse, or intimidation.
  • Financial abuse of a senior citizen is defined as "the intentional or negligent misappropriation of a senior citizen's funds or property." Financial abuse can include but is not limited to, theft, fraud, or embezzlement.
  • Neglect of a senior citizen is defined as "the intentional or negligent failure to provide a senior citizen with the necessary food, shelter, clothing, medical care, or supervision." Neglect can include, but is not limited to, abandonment, isolation, or withdrawal of care.

The penalties for elder abuse in California are severe. If you are convicted of elder abuse in California, you face up to four years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $6,000.

Find a Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me

If you have been charged with better, it is important to have good representation. Our defense lawyers at  Los Angeles Criminal Attorney may be able to help you navigate the legal system, and work to get you the best possible outcome in your case. Call us today at 424-333-0943.

always write something first after any subtopic before going to the listing. Also, I don't like how you keep listing your points. You can simply write the first one (Aggravated Battery), blood and in italics, then go ahead with those descriptions, then move to the next one). That applies to previous subtitle as well. ONLY have lists when it is necessary. 

Also the introductions is not compelling. You need to practice more about good introductions. In fact I'm wondering how you are mentioning assault in the introduction. 

Please handle that, while keeping in mind your word count isn't sufficient.