What is the crime of battery?

Penal Code Section 242 is the criminal statute referring to the crime of battery. To prove a person guilty of such a charge, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant willfully and unlawfully touched another person in a harmful and offensive way, and that person suffered serious bodily injury as a result of the force that was used at the time of the offense. The person alleged to commit the offense must have done so willfully. It does not matter that he or she intended to break the law or hurt someone else. The focus is on the act and that act must have been done willfully. Making contact with another person, including through his or her clothing, is enough to commit a battery. The act must have resulted in serious bodily injury to another. Serious bodily injury means serious impairment of physical condition, and can include loss of consciousness, concussion, loss or impairment of function of any bodily member or organ. Unlawful touching of another to constitute a battery can include indirectly touching another by causing an object or someone else to touch the other person.

A person who is guilty of PC 242 battery can be punished as follows: serve a maximum sentence of six months in the county jail and pay a fine not exceeding to $2,000.00. The crime of battery is a misdemeanor.

If you are not a citizen of the United States, a conviction of battery may result in negative immigration consequences including the denial of naturalization of citizenship or legal permanent residency.

Defenses to battery can include self-defense or acting in defense of others. In the event a parent is accused of battery to a child, a defense to such a charge can include sufficient evidence of reasonable discipline.

If you or someone you know is being accused of battery, contact the Gonzalez Law Firm immediately and seek legal help at once. You have a right to remain silent, and you do not need to discuss or provide information to law enforcement personnel in the event you are being investigated for such a charge. The Gonzalez Law Firm has provided over 17 years of legal experience helping persons being accused of battery. Mr. Gonzalez appears in all California courts in all counties.