Articles Posted in Battery

As discussed in Part One, the traffic in Los Angeles can be a nightmare, and can result in a plethora of criminal offenses. The frustration and anger that stems from driving, and from “road rage” can cause a significant impact on your life in the form of criminal consequences. Although there is no specific statute that makes road rage unlawful, there are a plethora of offenses that can stem from your actions on the road.

Hit and Run

Many times a Los Angeles Hit and Run can be an added charge on top of an assault or battery, if the driver causes injury or damage and then fails to provide proper contact information. Under California Vehicle Code 20001 and 20002, a person who causes damage to someone’s property or injury to a person, and does not stop to provide assistance or contact information, may be found guilty of a Hit and Run. This could be an additional charge on top of assault, or battery. The potential sentence  will vary depending on whether there is injury to person, or damage to property and the extent of that damage or injury.

The traffic in Los Angeles can be a nightmare, and can often lead to anger and frustration as everyone rushes to get from one place to another. Oftentimes people will succumb to their frustration and let “road rage” take the better of them. What many people don’t know is that this behavior could result in a criminal conviction. Therefore, it is always a good idea to stay calm and in control of any situation while you are on the road.

Although there is no specific law against road rage, there are several offenses that could be driven by road rage.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

California Penal Code § 242 defines a Battery as a willful and unlawful use of force by one person against another. California Penal Code § 243(e)(1) adds certain situations in which the battery will be enhanced and will yield a harsher range of potential consequences.

One of the circumstances in which a battery charge would be enhanced is if it is against a person that section defines as a domestic relationship. A domestic battery includes a varying form of relationships, much more than domestic violence as it is defined under California Penal Code §273.5. The court’s take domestic relationships very seriously, as it is a relationship based on trust and vulnerability. When the person being charged is accused of injuring a person in which they share a domestic relationship, the court will consider the factors very carefully and if sentenced, it will be a higher penalty than battery under CPC §242.

One relationship the Court will hold as needing special protection is between spouses. The statute also includes a former spouse. The person must be the current spouse. The domestic battery statute, also includes a cohabitant. A cohabitant can be anyone a person is residing with. This could be a family member, a roommate or a friend. If injury is caused to a person that lives with the person being charged, it is likely it will be a domestic battery charge.

There are two types of charges involving a spouse in domestic violence. One is charged as a felony domestic violence and involves bodily injury resulting a traumatic condition (California Penal Code 273.5), and the other is a misdemeanor battery against a spouse (California Penal Code 243(e)(1)).

The final sentence for your case will fall along a spectrum that has been established by legislation. This range will differ based on the Penal Code section under which you have been charged, along with varying factors that comprise your background and the facts of your case. A person charged under California Penal Code 273.5, a felony, may be sentenced anywhere up to a year in county jail, 2 – 4 years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $6,000. In contrast, those charged under CPC 243(e)(1), a misdemeanor, may be charged with up to a year in prison and/or a fine not to exceed $2,000.

Potential consequences for your case will depend on several different factors. Prosecution will consider you criminal background, relationship history as well as the specific facts of your case before proposing a final sentence to the Judge. There is a great amount of subjectivity open to argument and debate. An experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney has developed a solid reputation among the prosecutors and Judges in Los Angeles. It is through this knowledge that they are able to prepare a influential argument that will ensure your final sentence falls along the lower end of the spectrum and helps you avoid serving and jail time!

Although there are many different types of domestic violence, one of the most frequently found forms is when it is between spouses. California Penal Code § 273.5 and §243(e)(1) address spousal violence.

CPC § 273.5 makes it a felony for a person to inflict corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition against a spouse. A spouse as defined in this section will also include a former spouse, someone you have lived with or do live with, or the mother or father of your child. Additionally, a visible injury is required to be charged with this offense, even if it is a slight bruise or swelling.

CPC § 243(e)(1) addresses a lesser charge than CPC § 273.5. CPC § 273.5 will be charged as a felony whereas §243(e)(1) is a misdemeanor battery charge. Under this section, a person will be charged with battery if it is committed against a spouse. The section also extends battery upon not just a spouse, but also someone with whom you are living, someone to whom you are engaged, the parent of your child, a former spouse or someone whom you are dating.

Oftentimes people assume that domestic violence entails violence against one spouse from the other. Although that is the most common scenario, it is not the only type of domestic violence.

California Penal Code § 273.5 makes it a felony for anyone who inflicts corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition upon a spouse, cohabitant or parent of his or her child. This section is common among domestic violence cases. A lesser offense is known as domestic battery and is codified under California Penal Code § 243(e)(1). California PC §243 (e)(1) makes it a chargeable offense to commit battery against a spouse, fiance or anyone whom you have had a engagement or relationship with.

Also considered under a domestic violence offense is violence against a child. California Penal Code § 273 (d) makes it a punishable felony to inflict corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition upon a child. Additionally, under California Penal Code § 273 (a), any person who is entrusted with the care and custody of a child under 8 years of age inflicts upon the child force that a reasonable person would find to inflict bodily injury resulting in the child’s death will be charged with child endangerment.

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.

Many people mistakenly assume that an charges for assault and battery go hand in hand. While it is true that many offenses involving assault may also involve battery, the two are not always found together. Assault is a threat of bodily harm that results in fear of bodily harm in the victim. Battery is when actual physical contact results.

Lets say that Person A says to Person B; ” I am going to find you and kill you”. If this causes a reasonable fear in Person B that Person A was actually going to find them and kill them, then there is a case for assault. It is not necessary that Person A actually find Person B and kill them, just the fact that they have threatened to do so. It is also important to note that there must be a reasonable fear that the threat will actually be carried out. If your friend jokingly says to you that they are going to “kill you” and you know they are joking and have no intention in carrying out their words, there is no assault.

Now lets say that Person A actually finds Person B and attempts to kill them but only physically injures them. Person A may be charged with no only assault, but also battery. If Person A never threatened Person B, but found them and attempted to kill them resulting in physical injuries, then Person A may only be charged with battery but not assault.