Battery: California Penal Code 242

Battery (Penal Code 243) is, essentially, the “willful use of force or violence upon another.” This means any physical contact with another person to which that other person has not consented. The terms assault and battery often go together, but not always.

Battery is a very serious crime and each case is unique. If you are facing battery charges it is important to hire an attorney who keep up with the current law surrounding battery charges.

There are several different types of battery charges in California law:

  • Simple Battery (PC 242)
  • Sexual Battery (PC 243.4) (See also Sex Crimes)
  • Battery on a Spouse or Girlfriend/Boyfriend (PC 273.5) (Also known as Domestic Violence)

Defenses against Battery Charges

Attorney David S. Chesley has successfully represented many people charged with battery. After examining your case, he can propose many different types of defense, including:

  • Lack of intent, such as an accident. The crime of battery requires that the defendant actually intended to commit a ‘willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.’ If the injuries were made by accident, it does not qualify.
  • Self defense. It is not battery if you were simply defending yourself from an attack.
  • Defense of other people or defense of property. Similarly, it does not qualify as battery if the physical contact were made against someone trying to attack other people or property.

An important factor in any battery defense is the extent of the injury. If the alleged victim has slight or no injury, it most often is charged as a misdemeanor. If significant injury occurs, such as cuts requiring stitches or broken bones, then the offense is charged as a felony. In some cases, the offense may be charged as a strike under California’s “three strikes” law.

At the Law Offices of David Chesley we strive to provide the best possible results for our clients. If you or a love one are facing a battery charges, contact us for a free consultation. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and a legal professional is waiting to speak with you.