Assault and battery charges are a common happening in California. While the two terms are closely related, they refer to different offenses in law. Assault can be defined as the attempt or intention to cause harm to another person, which does not involve physical contact or injury. Battery refers to unlawfully injuring another person through the use of force or violence, which involves physical contact.
How is a battery case proven
For a defendant to be found guilty of battery, the prosecutor must prove that:
– The defendant acted unlawfully and willfully
– The defendant used violence or force
– The defendant touched another person in a manner that was harmful or offensive
The touching can be direct or indirect. For example, if person A intentionally throws an object that hurts person B, Person A is guilty of battery. It is important to note that unlawful touching can qualify as battery even if it didn’t cause injury or pain to the other party.
– Possible defenses to assault and battery charges
– One can defend themselves against battery charges by arguing that they acted in self-defense. This can be done by proving that the other party was the initial aggressor. The defendant can also show that they had enough reasons to believe that the other party wanted to injure them. The law requires one to use reasonable force to repel an attack. Use of excessive force can be a criminal offense.
Lack of intent
For one to be found guilty of battery, it must be proven that the contact with the accuser was intentional. A defendant can, therefore, argue that injuries caused were accidental.
If the two parties agreed to participate in an activity in which there is a risk of battery, one party cannot accuse the other of unlawful battery. For example, boxing.
Other possible defenses to battery charges include defense of others, defense of property, involuntary intoxication, and factual innocence.
Penalties for Assault and Battery in California
Under Penal Code 240 PC, assault is considered a misdemeanor. It carries a fine not exceeding $1000, a jail term of up to six months in county jail, or both.
Simple battery is considered a misdemeanor in California under Penal Code 242 PC. It attracts a fine not exceeding $2000, a jail term of up to six months in county jail, or both. However, aggravated battery or battery against state officers can be charged as a felony.
Where to Find a Personal Injury Lawyer in Los Angeles
If you are involved in an assault or battery case, you should contact Oscar H Gutierrez, APC. We will assign you a personal injury lawyer or an assault and battery lawyer who will give you quality legal representation. Our team has handled personal injury cases for more than 40 years. Contact us here.