California Penal Code Section 242: Battery is used to prosecute individuals who intentionally initiate contact that is:
Individuals who face charges under PC 242 can end up facing serious legal penalties. A conviction could impact an individual’s life for years to come. The Simmrin Law Group can help you understand the definition, penalties, and defenses for a charge of battery.
The Legal Definition of Battery in California
Individuals in California may be charged with battery if they intentionally touch another person in a way that is harmful or offensive without lawful reason. Note that individuals should not be charged under PC 242 if they were:
- Acting in Self Defense
- Acting to Defend Someone Else
- Disciplining Their Child in a Reasonable Way
Battery charges can apply in many situations, because individuals can be convicted of battery even if they do not harm anyone. An angry push or a shove can even be prosecuted as battery in the courts in Los Angeles.
Charges Similar to Battery in California
There are a number of charges that closely relate to PC 242 in California. Depending on the situation, an individual might be charged with:
- California Penal Code Section 273(d): Child Abuse / Inflicting Physical Punishment On A Child
- California Penal Code Section 273.5(a): Corporal Injury To Spouse
- California Penal Code Section 245(a)(1): Assault With A Deadly Weapon
- California Penal Code Section 245(a)(2): Assault With A Firearm
There are also some charges that are used to prosecute specific types of battery, including:
- California Penal Code Section 243(b) PC & 243(c)(2): Battery On A Peace Or Police Officer
- California Penal Code Section 243(d): Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury
- California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1): Domestic Battery
The penalties for these acts varies. A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help you understand the differences in these charges.
Examples of Battery in California
It can be difficult to understand exactly what qualifies as battery since there are so many related charges. The following examples can help clarify this issue:
Person A gets into an argument with Person B. Their tempers heat up and Person B says something very insulting. Person A shoves Person B into a wall, resulting in serious bruising. Person A can be convicted of battery, even though Person B was participating in the argument.
Person C is walking down the street and trips, falling into Person D. Person D ends up twisting their ankle and accuses Person C of battery. However, Person C did not intentionally try to harm Person D, so they are not guilty of battery.
Person E is playing soccer in a neighborhood league. During a close game, Person E tackles Person F, sending them both to the ground. Person F is cut along their shin. Person E should not be charged with battery because they were both consenting to play a risky sport.
Possible Penalties for a Battery Conviction
Individuals who are convicted of battery in California may be subjected to:
- Jail Time: Up to 6 Months
- Fines: Up to $2,000
Additionally, the court can order individuals convicted under PC 242 to attend anger management classes. A battery conviction can also result in a ban on the ownership of firearms. This ban can last for up to 10 years.
Criminal Defenses Used to Handle PC 242 Charges in California
An individual accused of battery may not be convicted if they have a solid defense. Depending on the exact circumstances surrounding a battery accusation, a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer may be able to argue:
You Were Acting in Self-Defense
Individuals are legally allowed to protect themselves from acts of violence in Los Angeles. You may not be convicted of battery if someone else struck you first. Note, however, that verbal threats are not enough to justify an act of battery.
You Hurt Another Person Accidentally
Battery involves willfully hurting someone. Individuals who harm another person by accident should not be convicted under PC 242 in California.
Note that – in some cases – individuals consent to activities that can result in physical harm. Someone who is playing a physical sport or engaging in other risky activities may be injured. These injuries are not the result of battery and should not lead to criminal charges.
Building a Criminal Defense for Battery Charges
A conviction under California Penal Code Section 242: Battery can lead to severe repercussions. You could be incarcerated and fined if you are convicted of battery in California. Make sure you address a battery charge head-on by contacting the Simmrin Law Group right now for a FREE case evaluation.
Our team can go over your options. Just complete our online contact form or call (310) 997-4688.