Battery Laws & Defense
Penal Codes 242, & 243(d)
Battery is defined as willfully causing bodily injury to another person, or touching another person in an offensive way, without consent, or legal justification (PC 242).
Information on the crime of battery is found at California penal code section 242 and 243(d). PC 243(d) is battery causing serious bodily injury.
To prove that the defendant is guilty of battery, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant:
- Touched another person in a harmful or offensive manner, and on purpose, and
- The touching caused bodily injury as a result of the force used, or the touching was highly offensive, and
- The defendant did not act in self-defense, in defense of another person, or with the consent of the person touched
- If serious bodily injury is caused then the defendant may be charged under PC 243(d), which carries harsher penalties and a longer jail sentence.
Sentence & Penalty for PC 242 & 243(d) (Battery)
Battery charged as penal code 242, is charged as a misdemeanor. PC 243(d) may be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony.
PC 242 battery charges carry a sentence of up to 180 days in the county jail.
PC 243(d) felony battery charges carry up to a four year prison sentence. PC 243(d) misdemeanor battery charges carry up to a one year jail sentence.
Probation Sentence: A probation sentence may be granted in both felony and misdemeanor battery charges. When probation is granted the court may order some jail time as a term of probation but the jail time is generally much shorter than the maximum sentence and may usually be served by work release or electronic monitoring (house arrest). Whether or not a probation sentence (with or without jail) will be granted in any particular battery case depends largely on the facts of the case and the defendant's criminal history.
Three Strikes Crime: Felony battery charged under PC 243(d) is considered a serious offense under California's Three Strikes Law and conviction of felony battery may trigger a third strike for defendants who have previously been convicted of two prior strike offense.
Crime of Moral Turpitude: Crimes of moral turpitude are crimes that are considered morally wrong. Crimes of moral turpitude carry special punishment for licensed professionals and immigrants. Neither simple battery charged under PC 242, nor aggravated battery charged under PC 243(d) are considered crimes of moral turpitude; however, felony battery charged under PC 243(d) may be considered an aggravated felony if the defendant is sentenced to more than a year in jail or prison. Aggravated felonies carry special punishment with immigration (for non-U.S. citizens).
Firearm Prohibition: Any conviction for aggravated battery charged under PC 243(d) carries a lifetime firearm ownership prohibition.
In addition to any jail sentence, criminal convictions for PC 242 and 243(d) can lead to other severe consequences including: fines, civil lawsuits, restitution, employment loss (professional and occupational license), increased punishment for future crimes, criminal protective orders, anger management classes ordered, and more.
Defense to PC 242 & 243(d)
While every battery charge is supported by different facts, common defenses to battery charges include: self defense, defense of others, mutual combat, insufficient evidence, intoxication, insanity, consent to touching, statute of limitations, mistake of fact as to consent to touching, implied consent (athletic competition, intimate encounter, prior contacts), coerced confession, alibi, and more.
If you have been charged with simple battery under penal code 242 or aggravated battery under penal code 243(d), contact our criminal defense lawyers today to learn your rights and options without delay.
To learn more about the crime of battery (PC 242), and battery causing serious injury (PC 243(d)), including defenses to penal code 242 and 243(d), contact our criminal defense lawyers for a free consultation.
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Battery Crimes: PC 242 & 243(d)
- Criminal Threats
- Domestic Violence
- Drunk in Public
- Elder Theft
- Hit & Run
- Identity Theft
- Lewd Acts
- Vehicle Theft
- Welfare Fraud
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Los Angeles County
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Related crimes to battery (PC 242, 243(d)) include:
- Aggravated Battery PC 243(d)
- Battery of a spouse or cohabitant PC 243(e)(1)
- Battery on peace officer PC 243(c)(2)