California has set up multiple legal codes to prosecute individuals accused of battery. California Penal Code Section 243(d): Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury is one of the more severe charges used to prosecute battery.
Individuals charged under PC 243(d) can end up facing harsh penalties, including incarceration and fines. Get more information about battery causing serious bodily injury and possible defenses from the Simmrin Law Group today.
Defining California Penal Code Section 243(d): Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury
When a person inflicts unwanted or unlawful physical contact against another, it is considered battery. Generally, battery is divided into two different categories. More mild offenses are known as “simple battery.” These charges are covered under California Penal Code Section 242.
When a battery causes serious injuries, however, the law recognizes that stricter penalties are necessary. When a serious bodily injury occurs, as the result of an accident, it is known as “aggravated battery.” This type of charge is processed under California Penal Code Section 243(d).
What Counts as Serious Bodily Injury in California?
Legally, serious bodily injuries are defined as injuries that impair a person’s physical condition in a major way. Examples of serious bodily injuries can include:
- Bone Fractures
- Injuries to an Organ
Examples of Acts Relating to PC 243(d)
You can increase your understanding of charges for battery causing serious bodily injury by going over these examples:
Man A is out at a bar with some friends. His evening goes well until Man B spills his drink. He gets into an argument with Man B. Eventually, he shoves Man B, who falls against the bar and gets a bruise, before deciding to leave. Man A might be charged with battery, but he should not be charged under PC 243(d) because he did not cause serious bodily injury.
Man A is out drinking again. This time he gets into a fight with Man C. Man A breaks a beer bottle and stabs Man C, causing an injury to his stomach. Man A will likely face charges for battery causing a serious bodily injury, as he caused an injury to an organ.
Man C recovers from his injuries and heads out to celebrate. While he is out, Man D tries to mug him and beat him up. Man C punches Man D to get away, inadvertently giving Man D a concussion from the force of the blow. Man C should not face PC 243(d) charges because he acted to defend himself.
Violence-Related Charges in California
When arrested for battery, you could potentially be charged under an array of offenses. In some cases, the charges can be combined, which could leave you facing extensive penalties. Some other charges that you may face in addition to (or instead of) aggravated battery include violations of:
- California Penal Code Section 240: Assault
- California Penal Code Section 242: Battery
- California Penal Code Section 243(b) PC & 243(c)(2): Battery On A Peace Or Police Officer
- California Penal Code Section 243.4: Sexual Battery
- California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1): Domestic Battery
- California Penal Code Section 245(a)(1): Assault With a Deadly Weapon
Penalties for Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury
A conviction under PC 243(d) can have severe repercussions. Battery causing severe bodily injury is a charge known as a “wobbler.” That means that it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor conviction can lead to one year of jail time. If charged as a felony, though, you could be facing up to four years in prison.
Generally, prosecutors will assess several factors when deciding if an instance of PC 243(d) should be treated as a misdemeanor or a felony. The court may look at an individual’s previous criminal history and the exact circumstances of the act of battery.
Fines for Battery Causing Serious Injury in California
In addition to incarceration, you will also likely be facing a significant fine. For a misdemeanor conviction, you could receive a fine of up to $1,000. When facing a felony charge, the potential fine can greatly increase to up to $10,000.
Your Right to Own a Gun if You’ve Been Convicted on Code Section 243(D)
Your rights to gun ownership will also be affected. If convicted of a misdemeanor, you will not be able to own or purchase a gun for ten years. If the charge is prosecuted as a felony, that ban would be lifelong.
It is important that a person arrested on a charge of aggravated battery contact a professional criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles. An experienced criminal defense attorney can explain the potential consequences you are facing and let you know about all of your options for fighting these charges.
Defenses for Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury
The court system in Los Angeles can harshly punish individuals accused of battery causing serious bodily injury. Fortunately, there are legal defenses that can help individuals charged under PC 243(d). While there are multiple defenses that may apply to your particular case, the two most common defenses are:
- Accidental injury
- Self defense
- Non-serious injury
Individuals sometimes hurt other people without intending to cause harm. An individual must act willfully to be convicted under PC 243(d). This means that you should not be convicted if the harm was caused accidentally.
Note that the courts do not consider it an accident if you intend to harm someone a little and end up causing a severe bodily injury. Any willful act of violence can result in a conviction under California PC Section 243(d) if the resulting injury is serious enough.
According to the laws in California, you are allowed to utilize force to defend yourself or others. If you believe that you are at risk for suffering physical harm, you are legally allowed to protect yourself. Acts of self-defense can cause serious bodily injuries that should not result in a conviction under PC 243(d).
Your lawyer may also be able to argue the charge down to a simple battery if they can prove that the victim is exaggerating their injuries and that they are not serious.
We Can Help with Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury Charges
Charges under California Penal Code Section 243(d): Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury can feel impossible to beat on your own. Luckily, you can reach out to the Simmrin Law Group for help today. You can contact our professional criminal defense lawyers by giving us a call or filling out our online contact form.
Take steps to build a defense by reaching out to us for a free, no-obligation consultation. When your future is on the line, you shouldn’t trust your defense to a public defender. We are here to help.