Legal Defenses for Battery Charges

A battery is defined as any willful and unlawful use of force or violence acted upon another individual. In this blog, you will learn about some important factors pertaining to the California battery law.

If you or a loved one was injured or killed due to the unlawful act of another, it is important that you seek help from an assault lawyer in Los Angeles to get you the help you rightfully deserve.

How Does the Prosecutor Prove Battery?
In order for a prosecutor to prove battery, which is under Penal Code 242, the prosecution must prove the following:

The suspect willfully and unlawfully used force or violence, or touched in a harmful or offensive manner upon another individual.

Keep in mind that the touching that took place does not need to cause pain or injury in order for it to be categorized as battery. In fact, the touching can be done indirectly, which caused an object or someone else to touch the other individual.

For example, let’s say that someone was at a concert and threw a beer bottle in the air, which resulted in the beer bottle hitting another person on the head. Even if the person who threw the bottle claimed that he was drunk or that it wasn’t intentional, this still makes him guilty. Depending on the nature of the victim’s injury would determine whether it was simple or aggravated battery.

If the victim was not injured or the injury was not serious, then the court may consider this as a simple battery. However, if the victim was seriously injured, then this would fall under battery causing serious bodily injury.

Since the suspect claimed to be intoxicated, he would still be charged, as “voluntarily intoxicated” is not a defense to his actions.

Distinguishing Between Assault and Battery
Although assault and battery are commonly categorized to be the same offense, they both have very distinct differences.

An assault is an attempt to injure another individual. Battery is the unlawful use of force or violence upon another person.

The main distinction between the two is that assault does not require any physical contact or injury. On the other hand, battery requires some sort of physical contact, no matter how little it happened to be.

Legal Defenses for Battery Charges
There are a number of defenses that one may make, including but not limited to:

Self defense: If the defendant acted in self-defense or in defense on behalf of others, then he or she cannot be convicted of assault.

Accident: An accident can occur if the defendant did not willfully use force or cause injury to another. A couple examples of accidents can be a car accident, accidentally tripping or pushing someone, etc.

Consent: If a person willingly engages in an activity that may result in injury, then all parties are accepting a risk of battery. Some examples of this would be sports games or other knowingly dangerous activities.

On the other hand, the following are not considered reasonable defenses for battery:
Voluntary intoxication: A person who commits battery while being voluntarily intoxicated cannot claim this as a defense. However, if the defendant is able to prove that he or she was involuntarily intoxicated, then he or she will not be found guilty simply due to the fact that he or she did not choose to consume the intoxicating matter.

Provocation: If the defendant chooses to respond to a provocative act that was not a threat or an attempt to injure him or her, then it is not considered to be a defense for battery.

Contact an Assault and Battery Lawyer Los Angeles
If you or someone you know has been hurt or killed due to a wrongful act, you should seek help from an assault and battery lawyer Los Angeles to get you the legal help you need.

When it comes to these cases, there are several steps that need to be taken and it is very important that you have someone working on your behalf to get you the justice you deserve for your losses.

Our team at Gutierrez Law will help you every step of the way. Our trusted and experienced Los Angeles assault lawyers know what it takes to get the results you need and deserve. Feel free to contact us any time to speak to a personal injury lawyer Los Angeles.