California Penal Code 243

Battery is defined under California Penal Code 242 as “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.”

Battery is a crime that involves bodily injury against another person. Aggravated battery may be charged if the action includes the use of a deadly weapon. Essentially, a battery charge requires some willful and unlawful physical contact with the victim. An assault can be charged for the simple act that may reasonably result in harm to the victim.

Battery is generally charged under California Penal Code 243

If the battered person is seriously hurt, the criminal case may be prosecuted under Penal Code 243(d) as a battery causing serious bodily injury, otherwise known as an aggravated battery. If the battered person does not suffer serious bodily injury, prosecutors will file the case as a misdemeanor (otherwise known as a simple battery) under Penal Code 243 (a).

Penal Code 243 (a) A battery is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

If you are charged with battery against a peace officer or other protected civil servant they offense may be filed as either a misdemeanor or  felony, regardless of whether or not a serious bodily injury is inflicted (Penal Code 243 (d).

If you or a loved one has been arrested or are being accused of assault and/or battery, please contact us today.

Penalties Felony vs Misdemeanor

If you are convicted of battery in California, you may face penalties that include a fine up to $1,000 and/or one year in jail for a misdemeanor charge. A battery conviction can include a fine up to $2,000 and/or one year in prison. Special circumstances may increase the penalties for either crime.

If you’ve have already been arrested on felony charges under Penal code 243/245 the police report is sent to the prosecutor where he/she determines if the charge will stay a felony or be reduced to a misdemeanor. If we get in charge with the prosecutor before hand the chances of getting the penalty reduced to a misdemeanor is greater. What will determine that is the character of the defendant’s, criminal history, and the severity or the act and injuries.

Convictions involving assault & battery count as “strikes” under the state’s Three Strikes Law, meaning that an individual’s sentencing will become increasingly severe as they are convicted on multiple occasions, or in the event that they are on parole or probation when the offense is committed.

If you have been charged with assault & battery it is highly recommended you contact our law office. We can provide you with a strong and focused defense.

Common Assault & Battery Charges in San Diego Include:

  • Assault with a Deadly Weapon
  • Aggravated Assault & Battery
  • Sexual Assault & Battery
  • Child Endangerment
  • Assault with Intent to Rob or Murder
  • Assault with Intent to Commit a Felony
  • Vehicular Assault
  • Assault with Intent to Commit Rape
  • Assault with Intent to Kill
  • Domestic Assault And Battery

Being arrested for battery doesn’t mean that you’ve been charged. Just because you have a court date doesn’t mean that court date is going to move forward. If you get in contact with an attorney before the charges are filed you can prevent harsher punishment.

How Does the Prosecutor Prove that a Battery Crime was Committed?

In order to prove that you committed a California Penal Code 242 battery, the prosecutor must prove the following elements of the crime:

  1. That the attack was done so willfully.
  2. That you used force or violence and that the crime was committed upon another.

If the case is filed, the following defenses can be used in order to obtain a dismissal, negotiate the case for a favorable result, or win the case at trial:

  • Defense of Self -If the alleged victim was actually the initial aggressor and the accused acted with reasonable force due to fear for their own safety, they can’t be effectively convicted for assault or battery. In general, this requires that the accused show a threat of unlawful force or harm against them, an honest reasonable perception of fear of said harm, no attempt to provoke this harm on their part, and no reasonable options for escaping the situation.
  • Self defense – Self defense is only deemed acceptable if the force used in that defense is reasonably appropriate to prevent harm to one’s self, and it cannot be an excessive amount of force. When determining what is excess the following may be considered.
  • Defense of Others – as with self defense, a person charged with assault and battery may be able to make the case that their actions were justifiable in preventing harm to another. This defense relies on many of the same elements, and is held to very similar grounds of reasonableness:
    • there must be a reasonable fear of harm,
    • there must not be excessive force used,
    • and using that force must be shown to be the only reasonable response.
  • Defense of Property – An assault and battery can be justified in preventing the accused’s property from being invaded, taken, or illegally withheld. This is often the case when assault or battery is made against a home invader or other person who begins an altercation with intent to steal money or property. Similar standards of reasonableness would apply as in self-defense, though, to a lesser degree. It is generally considered more reasonable to fight for your life than it is for your property. This does not necessarily apply in cases where a physical altercation started over property that’s ownership is in dispute.

How Can a Lawyer Help?

We provide each client we represent with thorough and dedicated service that is designed to improve their chances of a beneficial outcome to their case.

We may be able to get charges reduced by explaining the circumstances of your incident, especially if you have no criminal history or acted in self-defense. In the case of felony assault, we will investigate the incident in addition to reviewing evidence and talking to witnesses.

Contact our offices if you have been charged with battery and we will work to reach a possible resolution in your case in which the charges against you are lessened, or eliminated completely.