The act of battery is defined in Section 242 of the California Penal Code as a criminal offense that includes applying force or using violence against the body of another person without permission. A battery offense can involve touching that is offensive or can be the result of violent physical contact intended to cause injury. However, it is important to understand that no visible injury is necessary for a case of battery to be lodged against a person that makes unlawful contact with another person. Criminal misdemeanor charges are often lodged against individuals accused of battery.

Punishment for Battery

The possible penalties delivered for a battery conviction in Los Angeles include a fine of up to $2000 and a jail sentence of no more than six months. Both of these punishments can be assessed for a single incident of battery. Repeat offenders or people who are found to be guilty of an act of battery that causes an injury will face more serious legal consequences. If the battery that causes the injury is still charged as a misdemeanor, up to a year in jail is possible for the perpetrator. A felony charge of battery causing injury can result in as much as three years behind bars.

A battery charge that consists of "Serious bodily injury" can result in a four-year prison term for the person facing the charge. An important point to note is that a felony charge of assault makes the offense applicable to The Three Strikes Law in California. Under state law, a person that receives a third felony conviction can receive a prison sentence of 25 years to life imprisonment. More information on this subject can be obtained by consulting with a battery lawyer in Los Angeles.

Battery and Assault: What is the Difference?
In many jurisdictions, the definition of assault is an attempt to commit a battery against another person. Assault can also be defined as the intent of an aggressor to create the fear of imminent harm to his or her victim. This relationship between the two charges makes it common for them to be grouped together in many situations. For example, "assault and battery" is a common charge in many jurisdictions.

Despite this information, any people still do not understand the major differences between a charge of assault and a charge of battery. This is where it may be necessary for an assault and battery lawyer Los Angeles  to provide a bit of clarity. But in the simplest terms, assault is the threat of doing harm to a person. This threat has to be carried out with physical force for a battery charge to become applicable to a situation.

Types of Battery Charges
Different types of battery charges can exist in different jurisdictions. Oftentimes, these charges are defined by the class of the victim in a particular incident. Types of battery charges that can be assessed include:

  • Battery against a spouse
  • Battery against a minor
  • Battery of an elderly individual
  • Battery against a police officer

The class of a battery victim can result in more serious charges. There are also situations where the term "aggravated" conditions will be attached to battery charges. Aggravated battery is a serious felony offense that will require the immediate attention of a battery lawyer in Los Angeles. Batteries against women, children, and police officers are often defined as "aggravated." A battery is also aggravated if a weapon was involved in the incident.

What Defenses for Battery Exist?
The defense that is applicable to a particular case of battery is dependent on the nature of the charges lodged against an accused person and the details of the incident that caused the charges to be levied against a defendant. One example is when one person strikes another but it is later determined that an intent to strike the victim was not present. In a situation such as this, it is unlikely the "striker" would be convicted of battery. However, civil charges may still be applicable to the situation. A personal injury lawyer Los Angeles would be needed to pursue a civil case in this type of matter.

Common battery defenses include:

  • Self-defense
  • Coercion
  • Intoxication
  • Defense of a third party
  • Lack of Evidence of a battery

It should be noted that a parent does have the right to discipline their child physically when they feel the need to do so. This is generally not referred to as battery. The exception is when the parent takes an action that can be reasonably construed as abuse or the child is injured while being physically punished by a parent.

What a Lawyer Can Do For Your
Individuals charged with criminal battery can face serious legal consequences. These consequences can involve either misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the circumstances of the case. Criminal battery cases are serious situations and you should not try to handle this situation on your own. You should instead put your trust in a skilled and competent assault and battery lawyer Los Angeles.

If you or someone you know has been injured by an act of battery in Los Angeles, you will do well for yourself to reach out to the professionals at The Law Offices of Oscar Gutierrez. The firm has more than 40 years of experience as a personal injury lawyer Los Angeles along with a proven track record for winning personal injury cases of all sizes.