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Pursuant to California Penal Code Section 242, a battery occurs if you wilfully and unlawfully use force or violence on somebody else. You can be found guilt of battery even if you don’t harm or injure that person. Mere unwanted or offensive contact is sufficient to support a conviction.
If serious injury doesn’t occur, the battery charge is likely to be prosecuted as a misdemeanor. If the harm to the victim is serious, the case is likely to be charged as a felony aggravated battery.
Battery to a police officer
Under California Penal Code 243, if a battery is committed on a police officer or other person protected under the statute while in the lawful performance of their duties, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony, regardless of whether any harm occurred to the police officer or protected person. Those other protected persons include:
Charging battery to a police officer as a misdemeanor or as a felony
Each offense has its own facts and circumstances, so whether a battery is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony is determined on a case by case basis. A conviction for misdemeanor battery to a police officer is punishable by a year in jai and a fine not to exceed $2,000. A felony conviction for battery to a police officer is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.
A battery to a police officer can even occur when somebody is trying to get away from a police officer. If an officer has some simple questions for a person, and that person runs away but is then brought to the ground by the officer, there’s no battery. If the person resists the officer and hits, kicks or otherwise makes harmful or offensive contact with the police officer, that person who ran can be charged with battery to a police officer.
Several defenses are available to people who are charged with battery to a police officer. Those defenses can include but not be limited to:
We’re experienced criminal defense attorneys, and we’re respected by both prosecutors and judges. A conviction for battery to a police officer or other protected person can carry significant consequences and interfere with both your personal life and employment opportunities. A conviction could even get you fired from your present job.
Remember that the prosecution is required to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. We’ll look very closely any evidence both for you or against you, and then we’ll give you our best professional opinion of your alternatives. Preserve your rights. Evidence and witnesses can disappear. Don’t hesitate to oontact us right away for free consultation on any arrest.