Assault and Battery Laws in California - Penal Code 240 & 242 PC
Assault and battery are two separate and distinct criminal acts, usually grouped together in a criminal charge. If you threaten someone with bodily harm with the intention to inflict it, then the crime is considered assault under California Penal Code 240.
The crime of battery under California Penal Code 242 is when one causes bodily harm to another by using direct physical contact. Both assault and battery are violent crimes and are very serious charges in the state of California.
Penalties may include up to 15 years in jail or prison, harsh fines, restitution, community service, probation, and a mark on your criminal record for life. An experienced assault and battery Attorney in Los Angeles, CA can be of assistance if you are facing such charges.
Experienced Criminal Lawyers
At the Hedding Law Firm, our criminal defense lawyers provide exceptional legal advice and services for all types of assault and battery cases, including the following:
- Simple Assault
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon
- Felony battery
- Simple battery
- Sexual battery
- Aggravated battery
- Domestic violence
- Disorderly conduct
What Are the Common Mistakes?
Battery is a crime; you don't want it on your record if you can avoid it. I think one of the first common mistakes that I see people make is not hiring an attorney right away because a lot of times – especially if you don't have a criminal record and the other party wasn't hurt that bad – there are different diversionary-type programs that a good criminal defense attorney can utilize to try to protect your history and keep you out of jail.
Another common mistake is people try to figure the situation out themselves and think that they've got a defense without running by the information, the facts, and the details with a seasoned criminal defense attorney. Sometimes, people have a reason, but we have to see exactly what happened and what evidence the prosecutors can bring to bear against you in a potential trial.
So, we need to look at all of the evidence, look at the elements of battery, look at the defenses to the battery, see which ones apply to you, and then make a conscientious decision as to whether or not you could win the case at a jury trial level. Because if you can't win the case at a jury trial level, you will want to negotiate, use your attorney, get mitigation packets together with character letters, etc.
The last common mistake people make regarding battery matters is not taking them seriously and thinking this is not a crime. It's only a misdemeanor, and I shouldn't have to worry about it. That's wrong because battery is a crime. When you go out into the world and try to get a job, having a battery on your record, people may perceive you as being violent when you're not violent.
How to Defend a Felony Battery Case?
Most California Penal Code 240 PC battery cases I've seen are filed as misdemeanors. For the prosecutors to jack the case up to a felony, they must have a real serious injury to the victim.
California Penal Code 243(d) PC defines the crime of aggravated battery causing serious bodily injury. This involves touching or striking another person in a harmful or offensive manner, causing the person to suffer a serious injury.
If somebody claims they have a headache or something hurts them, it will not be sufficient to jack the battery from a misdemeanor to a felony. Instead, they'll usually need some broken bone or internal injury – something terrible that jacks it up to a felony battery.
Great Bodily Injury (GBI)
Sometimes I've even seen them add, in addition to the felony battery, a Penal Code 12.22.7 PC great bodily injury allegation if the injury is bad enough.
That means that not only did you batter the person, but you caused GBI against them. So therefore, you'd be looking at an additional three years in addition to the three years for the felony battery, so that's a total of six years in prison if you batter someone harshly enough with enough damage.
What Are the Legal Defenses?
So, I'm going to have you come in, and we're going to talk about precisely what happened to see if:
- you have a self-defense argument;
- you have a defense of another argument, or
- there's some other defense that applies to your felony battery case.
Maybe the injuries are not as grave as the victim is making them out to be. But unfortunately, sometimes people want to sue the person civilly, so they trump up their injuries and make them look much worse.
But you don't want a felony battery because what you end up doing is getting a strike on your record. So they're typically trying to imprison you for a felony battery.
You would be looking at serving 85% of whatever sentence you got versus the normal county jail sentence in the case of a non-three strike, where you're doing half time, which usually ends up being a lot less time than that because of overcrowding in the county jail.
So, if you or a loved one is charged with a felony battery and you're trying to figure out how to defend the case, let me put my 30 years of experience to work for you.
- I know the right approach;
- I know how to fight and win these cases;
- I know how to mitigate these cases if they've got evidence against you.
That's done through sending a mitigation package to the prosecutors, meeting with the head prosecutor, and convincing them of our position. So, if you need the best, you've come to the right place. Pick up the phone now and ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding.
Successful Criminal Defense Firm
If you have been accused of, formally charged with, or have been arrested for assault and battery, then you must hire an experienced defense attorney immediately. Our law firm will come to your defense and aggressively fight the charges you face. We have handled similar cases in the past.
If this is your second or subsequent felony offense, you could be looking at a three-strike crimes issue that, under the three-strikes law, can put you behind bars for 25 years to life.
Do not take a chance at your freedom! Call us today to schedule a free case evaluation and consultation with one of our lawyers. It would be in your best interest to see directly where you stand legally and what options you have.
We will provide the guidance necessary to show you what advantage legal representation can mean for you and your assault and battery case.
Our law firm provided clients throughout the Los Angeles area with outstanding criminal defense for many years. Regardless of the nature of the crime you are accused of, you can expect to receive fair and just legal representation from our attorneys.
We have been helping clients like you for the last many years. We will provide you with the dedication and skill needed to obtain an outcome that will satisfy you.