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A battery charge in California can result in significant legal consequences that can change the entire course of your life. Many of these involve penalties that can affect you personally and professionally. You may face jail time, fines, probation, required counseling, and, in some cases, be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. The criminal charges ranging from misdemeanors to felonies may be difficult to navigate, causing stress and anxiety for you and your family. Even without a conviction, the process can put a heavy toll on your reputation and relationships because of the stigma of a forceful or violent charge of battery.
Because of these potentially serious consequences, it is critical that anyone facing a battery charge speak to an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A battery defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help you understand your rights determine whether any legal defenses apply in your case – or negotiate a favorable plea bargain on your behalf. To schedule a free consultation with a lawyer, contact the Law Offices of David S. Chesley today.
California Battery Basics
In California, a battery is a willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another. Unlike an assault charge, which does not necessarily involve physical contact but merely an attempt to do so, battery requires some sort of unwarranted contact regardless of whether it causes injury to the other party. Even a slight touch in a disrespectful or rude manner may result in a battery charge. Importantly, the unwanted touching does not need to be meant in an offensive way for a battery to occur – it is enough that it was intentional on the part of the toucher and that the person who was touched takes offense. The touch can be another person’s body, clothing, or something closely attached to the person, such as a hat, purse, or something held in their hand.
The range of penalties for general battery include the following:
A felony charge for battery falls under California’s Three Strikes Law. A strike on your record requires subsequent convictions to be served eighty percent of the sentence, compared to fifty percent of a sentence for those without a strike on their record. A third felony conviction can increase a sentence to 25 years to life in prison. For this reason, it is critical for anyone facing a felony battery case to talk to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles as soon as possible.
Battery can be enhanced to aggravated battery in situations where the harmful or offensive touching results in “serious bodily injury.” Some examples of serious bodily injury include serious lacerations, broken bones, concussions, disfigurement, or injuries that result in loss of function. Under California law, aggravated battery charges can either be brought as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. If it is brought as a misdemeanor, it can result in up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If it is brought as a felony, it can result in 2,3, or 4 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
Battery Against an Elder or Dependent Adult
Special consideration is given to protecting elders and dependent adults because of their potential inability to report criminal conduct or testify in court on their behalf. A battery in this situation applies when the defendant had knowledge that the victim is an elder or dependent adult. The penalties range from up to one year in county jail and up to $6000 in fines, or in elevated charge situations up to four years in State prison. If great bodily injury is involved, the penalties increase greatly.
Battery on a Spouse/Domestic Battery
A domestic battery is a common misdemeanor offense in relation to domestic violence allegations. Under California law, this category of a battery is committed against a spouse, former spouse, parent of the defendant’s child, fiancé, current or previous dating relationship, or a person you live with. The crime can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts and circumstances of the case and whether visible injury on the victim can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution must demonstrate with evidence that you willfully used unlawful force or violence on your intimate partner. The consequences attached to a domestic battery charge may include:
Unfortunately, domestic battery accusations are often associated with emotionally charged relationships leading to false reports fueled by jealousy or revenge. You may have a legal defense to protect your rights, such as self-defense or accidental force.
Under California law, a sexual battery is the touching of an intimate part of another against their will for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse. Sexual battery also applies in situations with victims who are disabled, medically incapacitated, unconscious, or involves a forced touch of the defendant or a third party’s intimate body parts. The charges fall under a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum six-month county jail sentence and required registration for life as a sex offender.
The crime can also involve the use of a restraining device or an accomplice, which elevates the penalties. The misdemeanor charge is punishable by one year in county jail and up to a $2000 fine. The felony charge ranges from two to four years in State prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Either charge requires registration for life as a sex offender.
In some cases, you may be able to present an affirmative defense to a battery charge. Some of the situations that may give rise to justifying your actions include:
To successfully demonstrate self-defense or defense of others you must show that you reasonably believed that you or someone else was in imminent danger of suffering bodily harm and that immediate use of reasonable force was necessary to defend yourself or another. A criminal charge of battery does not mean you will be convicted of the crime. A lawyer skilled in this area of the law can discuss your options with you and work to achieve the best outcome possible for your case.
Even if there are no defenses available in your case, the representation of a lawyer can often result in a much better outcome than you would have obtained had you represented yourself. A lawyer may be able to negotiate a plea bargain agreement with the prosecutor handling your case that allows you to avoid the most serious consequences associated with your charge. In fact, in some cases, a plea bargain may even be able to help you avoid a conviction entirely.
Contact a Los Angeles Experienced Battery Attorney to Discuss Your Case
A battery charge may result in serious consequences that could affect you and your family for a lifetime. If you are convicted, you may face fines, jail time, and a criminal record. A Los Angeles experienced criminal defense lawyer can discuss the legal options at your disposal such as a plea deal to lessen your charges, building a solid defense, and possibly dismissing the charges against you altogether. The lawyers of the Law Offices of David S. Chesley are skilled in this area of the law and will work hard to resolve your case as favorably as possible. Don’t hesitate to contact us at 800-755-5174 or fill out our contact form online to schedule a free case evaluation.
Domestic violence is one of the most commonly reported in California and every year hundreds and thousands of domestic crime cases are registered.
Assault and battery are often charged together, but these are not interchangeable criminal offenses.
Being charged with aggravated assault (also known as assault with a deadly weapon), is a serious criminal charge.
When a suspect is uncooperative, dismissive or verbally indignant, some officers take it personally. People who have committed no crime suddenly find themselves facing bogus criminal charges.
A criminal threat is often referred as ‘terrorist threat’ in California even though the statute no longer uses this term to define the offense.
Multiple defendants each facing 7 years charged with smuggling prescription drugs into California from Mexico our client was the only defendant who received NO JAIL TIME!
Client facing 5 years for possession of deadly weapon we negotiated a plea for NO JAIL TIME!
Client facing 3 life terms for multiple felony counts of Child Molestation and Sodomy with child we proved the charges were fabricated by victims mother DISMISSAL of all charges at preliminary hearing!
Strike case: Client charged with possession of methamphetamine facing 25 years we filed a Romero Motion which was granted case REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR!
Client’s estranged girlfriend alleged Client broke into her room and choked her facing 14 years in State Prison we won at trial JURY ACQUITTAL.
Police allegedly discovered 3 bags of marijuana in client’s glove box faced 6 years we filed a 1538.5 motion to suppress resulting in DISMISSAL of all charges!
Client allegedly sold rock cocaine to undercover officer faced 10 years following our argument client received NO JAIL TIME!
Client facing 15 years for Armed Robbery we proved misidentification Judge DISMISSED the case!
Rodrigo L. San Fernando, CA (Sherman Oaks Yelp Review)
I am truly pleased with my experience with the Law Offices Of David S Chesley. They answered all my questions and provided me with great advice and legal services. My case resolved quickly. Thank you!
Ricardo Esteves Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Google Places Review)
I left court yesterday with my last case being wrapped up. Two court appearances and that’s it. He represented me in a couple of different cases and was impressive to say the least. Always a phone call or text message away. Confident and aggressive when he needed to be. Calming and thorough when meeting with me. Attorney Chesley did exactly what he said he would and I got the results I needed. He seemed to know all the right people at the Temple Street courthouse. You can always get in contact with him quickly and he is a great lawyer. I highly recommend his legal services.
Erica Geller Ontario, CA (Ontario Facebook review)
My brother was given a very caring attorney that was assigned to his case and we had very helpful case managers throughout the process. I strongly recommend David Chesley to anyone who is in trouble. I called in to get help on my brothers case and right away I liked their service. My brothers charges were eventually dismissed after the attorney got him into a program, now he could go on without the trouble of having anything on his record
Elizabeth F. San Diego, CA (San Diego Google Places Review)
I retained Mr. Chesley and his firm and from the beginning they were extremely professional both in communicating the status of my case to me, explaining the situation as a whole, and just downright taking care of business. It was money well spent for a job well done. Thanks again to David and Melissa others that worked on my case. I recommend this firm to anyone in need of legal representation. Don’t just accept things the courts force on you, call this firm and protect yourself.
Leon Hanley Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Avvo review)
I contacted Mr. Chesley and his firm because some unfortunate events had left me in a jam. Detectives were demanding I testify or be prosecuted for a crime I didn’t commit. (I wasn’t involved or even at the scene of the alleged crime when it supposedly took place.) Mr. Chesley explained to me that he had been through similar situations with his clients before and understood exactly what was going on. His response to what took place was nothing short of amazing. No matter how small my concern, Mr. Chesley addressed it in a timely manner. He advocated for what is right and empathized with me in dealing with the Court system. After meeting with the supervising D.A. and providing alibi evidence he was able to get me out the situation. I’m very grateful to have found him.
Britanny Givens Newport Beach, CA (Newport Beach Google Places)
I hired David Chesley for my criminal defense in 2012. he was recommended to us for is success results and his low fees. David is very smart and his professional legal advice was honest & much appreciated during these stressful time. David’s knowledge, advice, and communication about what we were to expect was reassuring and beneficial to me. He charged me a reasonable flat rate and didn’t charge me any surprise fees. In my case David Chesley was able to negotiate with the prosecution attorney for the best result I could hope for. He had success at getting my criminal charges dismissed with the judges approval. You will not be disappointed if you hire The Law Offices of David S. Chesley.
Andrew A. North Hollywood, CA (Better Business Bureau review)
David is very professional, yet very casual. Although it is typically not easy to speak straight up with an attorney, he is very easy to talk to. He replied to my questions quickly and was available all hours. Not only did he get my case resolved with a dismissal, he went above and beyond and got me an expungement without me even requesting it. He never beats around the bush and tells you like it is. At the same time is willing to work overtime to get the results you request. I would use David’s services again in the future.