California Battery Charge – Legal Definition and Consequences

A California Battery charge is defined by the California Penal Code section 242. Section 242 defines a Battery as any willful and unlawful use of force on the person of another. Put simply, a battery results when a person causes physical impact on another that is unsolicited and unwarranted causing injury.

The potential penalties for a battery charge fall along a range depending on the specific facts of your case. The sentence will also depend on who the battery was committed and by and against who, as well as where the assault took place and the extent of the injuries. The basic sentence that falls on the lower end of the spectrum will be a fine up to two thousand ($2,000) dollars and/or up to six months in county jail.

On the higher end of the spectrum a battery charge may receive a sentence of up to $10,000 if battery is committed by or upon a peace officer. Similarly, the sentence will be considered in a different light when the battery is directed towards or committed by those who serve the community such as lifeguards, doctors, nurses and firefighters.

Additionally, the extent of the injury will determine if the sentence is harsher or towards the lower end of the range. Battery charges with extensive bodily injury will receive up to four (4) years in county jail. Where the victim suffers from a minor bruise or scratch, the penalty might not be so severe as someone who causes the victim to have tissue damage, or internal injuries. Also considered is if the battery was committed by a minor and if it took place on school grounds.

The broad range of sentencing allows a Judge to weight together many different factors including your personal background as well as the facts surrounding your case. Whether your case is a simple case with minor injury or one with serious injury, a battery charge can leave a scar on your permanent record. A powerful argument presented by a knowledgeable Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney can significantly reduce your sentence.