Have you been accused of a crime?
Call for a free consultation 24/7 toll-free:
(888) 744-7730

California Penal Code Section 243(d) - Battery Causing Great Bodily Injury

California Penal Code § [Section] 243(d) – Battery Causing Great Bodily Injury

Bigstock  battery 20causing 20injury

California Penal Code [CPC] §243(d)Battery Causing Great Bodily Injury – California's statute forbidding Battery Causing Great Bodily Injury applies when anyone commits a Battery resulting in serious injury. Since Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury can be prosecuted as a Felony or a Misdemeanor, depending on the facts of the case, CPC §243(d) is considered a “wobbler” crime.[1]

If you are convicted of the Misdemeanor form of Battery Causing Great Bodily Injury, you face up to     one year in a county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If you're convicted of the Felony form, you can        be sentenced to as many as four years in a state prison and be fined up to $10,000. It's possible to receive imprisonment and a fine under both forms.

What Does California Penal Code §243(d) [Battery Causing Great Bodily Injury] Prohibit?

In sum, to be guilty of Battery Causing Great Bodily Injury under CPC §243(d), the prosecution must prove that:

  • You willfully used force against someone; AND,
  • The force wasn't lawful; AND,
  • The victim suffered serious bodily injury; AND,
  • You weren't defending yourself or disciplining a child.

Defining “Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury” Under California Penal Code §243(d)

To convict you under CPC §243(d), the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • Willfully: You willfully[2] used force against someone; AND,
  • Unlawfully: You were under no legal duty to touch[3] the other person; AND,
  • Serious Bodily Injury: The person touched suffered serious bodily injury[4] as a result of the force used; AND,
  • Not In Self-Defense/Defense of Other/Disciplining Child: You didn't act in self-defense, defense of someone else, or while reasonably disciplining a child.

Note:  “Making contact with another person, including through his or her clothing, is enough to commit a battery.”[5]

Example: Defendant Doug is a member of a softball team that plays at a park on the weekends. One day, while loosening up for a game by swinging a bat, Doug accidentally strikes a teammate, Victim Vinnie, in the mouth. He knocks out a row of Vinnie's teeth. Police Officer, stationed inside the park, sees the incident and arrests Doug for violating CPC §243(d). Should Doug be convicted of the accusation?

Conclusion: Doug touched Vinnie in a way that produced serious bodily injury. He had no lawful duty to touch Vinnie and wasn't trying to defend anyone or discipline a child at the time. However, as the facts indicate, the use of force was purely accidental. To violate CPC §243(d), a person must willfully use force upon another person. Doug, it follows, should be acquitted of the charge.     

Penalties For Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury Under CPC §243(d)

As noted prior, CPC §243(d) is a “wobbler”[6] offense, meaning that the prosecution can charge you with a Felony or a Misdemeanor, depending on the unique facts of your case.

If you're convicted of the Misdemeanor form of Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury, you face up to one (1) year in a county jail[7] and a fine of up to $1,000 (one-thousand dollars).[8] If you're convicted of Felony Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury, you can be sentenced to up to four (4) years in a state prison[9] and receive a fine of up to $10,000 (ten-thousand dollars).[10] It's also possible to receive a sentence and a fine under both forms of the offense.

Defenses To Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury Under CPC §243(d)

Three of the most common defenses against a charge of Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury are:

You Didn't Cause Serious Injury

Example: Defendant Darren, a habitual prankster, hides behind a door and waits to shock a friend, Victim Virginia, who's carrying her laptop computer. Darren touches Virginia's shoulder as she passes through the door. Virginia is so surprised that she drops her computer and shatters the screen. The repair cost will be enormous. Virginia, angered, calls the police and reports Darren for a violation of CPC §243(d). Should Darren be convicted?

Conclusion: Darren, who had no lawful excuse for touching Virginia, willfully made contact with her. He wasn't protecting himself or someone else or disciplining a child at the time. However, Virginia actually suffered no bodily injury because of the contact; her computer screen broke. Therefore, since Darren's touching didn't cause serious bodily injury to Virginia herself, Darren should be acquitted.[11]

You Didn't Act Willfully

Example:  A police officer, Defendant Darien, goes to a wedding reception. While she doesn't normally make much of a scene, she decides to start dancing when the DJ plays a song she hasn't heard in years. She spins herself around the dance floor so quickly that the pistol under her arm comes loose and falls from its holster. The weapon hits the tile floor and strikes a wedding guest, Victim Verne, in the head.[12] Darien turns herself in and is charged under CPC §243(d). Should Darien be convicted of the crime?

Conclusion: Darien, having shot Verne with a pistol, used force on Verne. She had no lawful excuse for doing so, for, while Darien was a police officer, the facts do not indicate that Verne was doing anything that would give Darien the legal duty to touch him (to arrest him or for a similar reason). Darien also shot Verne in the head, which would be considered a serious form of bodily injury. However, the contact only occurred because Darien was dancing and lost control of her pistol; she didn't intentionally shoot Verne. Therefore, since Darien didn't willfully injure Verne, Darien should be acquitted of the charge.  

You Were Defending Yourself or Someone Else

Example: A New Year's Day parade goer, Defendant Derek, sits on the side of a road and waits for floats to pass when a car driven by Motorist runs onto the sidewalk. The car is about to hit Young Girl. Derek, who's near Young Girl, leaps toward her, grabs her and pulls her from the path of the car, but in doing so he hits another parade goer, Victim Vaughn, in the eye. Vaughn is blinded. Vaughn has Derek arrested for violating CPC §243(d). Should Derek be convicted?

Conclusion: Derek touched Vaughn in a way that produced a serious bodily injury. Derek was under no legal duty to touch Vaughn when he did it. Derek acted willfully by intending to do what was necessary to injure Vaughn. However, Derek was trying to save Young Girl from being struck by a runaway vehicle; he did only what was necessary to protect Young Girl and nothing more. Therefore, since Derek should be permitted to use defense of another[13] as an excuse under the circumstances, he should be acquitted.

Related Offenses

Note: The crimes below are described as “related” because they're frequently charged with CPC §243(d)   and/or have common elements that the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

The California Penal Code contains several offenses related to Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury: Battery (CPC §242), Sexual Battery (CPC §243.4), Corporal Injury On Spouse, Cohabitant, Or Significant Other (CPC §§273.5(a) and (b)), Domestic Battery (CPC §243(e)(1)), Elder Abuse (CPC §368(b)(1)), Assault With A Deadly Weapon (CPC §245(a)(1)), Assault (CPC §240), Aggravated Assault (CPC §245(b)), Resisting An Executive Officer (CPC §69(a)), Resisting Arrest (CPC §148(a)(1)) and Battery On A Peace Officer (CPC §§243(b) and (c)).       

Battery

Battery (CPC §242) occurs in California when anyone willfully and unlawfully uses force against another person. An act is committed “willfully” when done it willingly or on purpose. You don't have to intend on breaking the law, hurting someone else, or gaining any advantage to act “willfully.”[14] Battery (also known as “Simple Battery”) is related to Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury because a Battery can result in catastrophic physical injury.

If you're convicted of Battery, the penalty may be:

  • A term of up to six (6) months in a county jail; OR,
  • A fine of up to $1,000 (one-thousand dollars); OR,
  • Both imprisonment and a fine.[15]

Note: A slight touch can be enough to commit a Battery, if it's done in a rude or angry way. The touching doesn't have to cause pain or injury.[16]

You can always find more information in the Battery section of the Kann California Defense Group's website. Feel free to contact the Kann Defense Group offices in Santa Clarita, Ventura, Encino, Pasadena or Los Angeles/Los Angeles County. Your call will always go directly to a lawyer. That is our guarantee.

California Criminal Jury Instructions – Battery

To convict you under CPC §242, the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:       

You willfully and unlawfully touched someone in a harmful or offensive manner. Additionally, you didn't act in self-defense, in defense of someone else or while reasonably disciplining a child.

Example:  A car thief, Victim Vale, is breaking into a vehicle when a police officer, Defendant Denny, happens upon her and arrests her. Denny, preparing to take Vale into a police station, pulls Vale's hands behind her back, which allows Denny to handcuff her, but Vale complains that she doesn't want to be touched. Later, at the station, Vale announces that she wants to file Battery charges against Denny, since Denny insisted on touching her in an offensive manner. If charged, should Denny be convicted?

Conclusion: Denny willfully touched Vale in a manner which Vale didn't want. Vale expressed as much while Denny was arresting her. However, Denny was a police officer, which gives her a right to touch others in the execution of her official duties. “Official duties” would include handcuffing arrestees, which is a matter of safety for the officer and the public. This means that touching Vale, without more, was lawful. Denny shouldn't be convicted of the charge because she had a lawful excuse for the Battery.

Sexual Battery

Sexual Battery (CPC §243.4(a)) occurs whenever anyone “touches an intimate part of another person while that person is unlawfully restrained.” The restraint can originate with you or an accomplice but it can only violate this Section “if the touching is against the will of the person touched and is for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse.”[17]

Since the prosecution can charge you with a Felony or a Misdemeanor, Sexual Battery is a “wobbler”[18] offense in California. The crime is related to Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury because it's possible for a sex act with a restrained person to be prosecuted as Sexual Battery or Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury, if the restrained person is badly hurt.

If you're charged with the Felony form of Sexual Battery, the penalty may be:

  • A term of up to four (4) years in a state prison; OR,
  • A fine of up to $10,000 (ten-thousand dollars); OR,
  • Both a fine and imprisonment;[19] AND,
  • The duty to register as a Sex Offender for at least ten years.[20]

Note: “Unlawful restraint requires more than just the physical force necessary to accomplish the sexual touching.”[21]

More information on Sexual Battery can be found on the Kann California Defense Group's website. If you have questions, contact any of the Kann Defense Group offices in Santa Clarita, Ventura, Encino, Pasadena or Los Angeles/Los Angeles County. Your call will go directly to a lawyer. That's a guarantee.

California Criminal Jury Instructions – Sexual Battery

To convict you under CPC §243.4(a), the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

You or an accomplice unlawfully restrained someone and touched an intimate part of that person's body or made that person touch him- or herself or touch someone else. You also touched that person against his or her will and did it for the specific purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse.

Example: Defendant Dean, a high school softball coach, often flirts with one of his student players, seventeen-year-old Victim Veda. Dean invites Veda to his house. Veda agrees. When she arrives, however, Dean pushes a chair against his front door, preventing anyone from getting out of, or into, the home. Veda becomes fearful and tries to move the chair but Dean won't allow it.[22] He pulls down Veda's pants and touches her vagina, saying, “I'm not the only one who wants this, baby.” Veda demands that Dean let her go; he reluctantly does. She reports Dean for violating §243.4(a). Should he be convicted?

Conclusion: Dean had no legal right to touch Veda on an intimate part of her body, regardless of the fact that he'd been flirting with her. His statement indicates that he was touching Veda to satisfy his sexual desires (he said that he “wants this” as he touched her). Veda, who became afraid when Dean pushed the chair against the door and later demanded to be allowed to leave, evidently didn't want Dean to   touch her. Finally - considering that the incident occurred inside Dean's home and that Dean was both an adult and Veda's coach - a jury would be reasonable in concluding that using the chair created an unlawful restraint on Veda's movement through pressuring Veda.  Dean, it follows, should be convicted.

Corporal Injury On Spouse, Cohabitant, Or Significant Other

 

California's law regarding Corporal Injury On Spouse, Cohabitant Or Significant Other (CPC §§273.5(a) and (b)) applies whenever anyone “willfully inflicts corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition upon a”[23] person listed in the statute, which includes spouses, cohabitants and significant others.[24]

Since a violation under CPC §§273.5(a) and (b) can be charged as either a Misdemeanor or a Felony,   depending on the facts of your case, Corporal Injury On A Spouse, Cohabitant, Or Significant Other is a “wobbler”[25] crime in California. The offense is related to Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury because a Battery punishable under §243(d) could also involve Corporal Injury On A Spouse, Cohabitant, Or Significant Other.

If you're convicted of the Felony form of Corporal Injury On Spouse, Cohabitant, Or Significant Other, the penalty may be:

  • A term of up to four (4) years in state prison; OR,
  • A fine of up to $6,000 (six-thousand dollars); OR,
  • Both a fine and imprisonment.[26]

Note: “Traumatic conditions” include wounds, whether minor or serious, if they're caused by direct force. Additionally, it's possible to cohabit with two or more people at different locations at the same time, so long as you maintain “substantial ongoing relationships with each person and” live “with each person for significant periods.”[27]

You can always find more information in the Battery section of the Kann California Defense Group's website. Feel free to contact the Kann Defense Group offices in Santa Clarita, Ventura, Encino, Pasadena or Los Angeles/Los Angeles County. Your call will always go directly to a lawyer. It's always guaranteed.

California Criminal Jury Instructions – Corporal Injury On A Spouse, Cohabitant, Or Significant Other

To convict you under CPC §§273.5(a) and (b), the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

You willfully and unlawfully inflicted a physical injury on your spouse (or former spouse), or on a cohabitant (or former cohabitant), or on the mother or father of your child, or someone to whom you were engaged, or someone you were dating. The injury resulted in a traumatic condition. Finally, you didn't act in self-defense or in defense of someone else.

Example: Defendant Damian asks a young woman, Victim Vanna, on a date but Vanna laughs at him and flatly refuses. Damian, enraged and humiliated, strikes Vanna in the mouth, splitting her lip, before he pushes her over and kicks her. Police Officer witnesses the attack and arrests Damian for violating CPC §§273.5(a) and (b). Should Damian be convicted?

Conclusion: Damian wasn't obligated to touch Vanna for any lawful reason. He also didn't strike her in order to protect himself or someone else. Since the attack resulted in a wound that followed from the use of force, Damian inflicted “traumatic injury” on Vanna. Damian did these things willingly. However, as the facts indicate, Damian and Vanna had no intimate relationship prior to the attack; Damian asked Vanna on a date and she refused him. Therefore, Damian should not be convicted of the accusation.[28]

Domestic Battery

California's law forbidding Domestic Battery (CPC §243(e)(1)) applies whenever Battery is committed “against a spouse, a person with whom [you're] cohabiting, a person who is the parent of [your] child, former spouse, fiancé, or fiancée, or a person with whom [you] currently [have], or [ ] previously had, a dating or engagement relationship.”[29]  Battery is any willful application of force against another person.

If you're convicted of Domestic Battery, the penalty may be:

  • A term of up to one (1) year in a county jail; OR,
  • A fine of up to $2,000 (two-thousand dollars); OR,
  • Both a fine and imprisonment; OR,
  • Probation conditioned on completing a batterer's treatment program or a similar class.[30]

Note: ‘Cohabitants' means “two unrelated persons living together for a substantial period of time, resulting in some permanency of the relationship. [¶]The term dating relationship means frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement independent of financial considerations.”[31]

You can always find more information in the Battery section of the Kann California Defense Group's website. Feel free to contact the Kann Defense Group offices in Santa Clarita, Ventura, Encino, Pasadena or Los Angeles/Los Angeles County. Your call will always go directly to a lawyer. It's always guaranteed.

California Criminal Jury Instructions – Domestic Battery

To convict you under CPC §243(e)(1), the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

You willfully and unlawfully touched a person in a harmful or offensive manner. The person touched is your spouse (or former spouse), or your cohabitant (or former cohabitant), or your fiancé[e] or a person you were dating or a person to whom you were engaged or your child's mother or father. Finally, you didn't act in self-defense or in defense of someone else.

Example: A dating couple, Victim Vinton and Defendant Dara, get into a heated argument. Vinton sticks his finger close to Dara's face. Dara responds by pushing Vinton. He falls onto the couch and lands atop a pile of soft cushions. Vinton calls the police and reports Dara for violating §243(e)(1) but Dara insists she did nothing wrong because Vinton suffered no physical harm. Should Dara be convicted of the crime?

Conclusion: Dara touched her boyfriend Vinton in a manner we can assume he considered offensive, since he called police about Dara shoving him. Dara might claim that she was defending herself but Vinton did nothing more than point; it's unlikely this defense would succeed without additional facts. Dara also wasn't defending another person when she touched Vinton and the fact that Vinton suffered no physical harm is irrelevant under the law. Thus Dara illegally touched Vinton and should be convicted.      

Elder Abuse

The crime of Elder Abuse (CPC §368(b)(1)) occurs in California when anyone willfully allows an elderly or dependent adult to suffer, or hurts the person, or puts  the person in a situation in which her or his health in endangered. The crime applies equally to caretakers as to the general public; all are under a duty not to abuse elderly or dependent persons. If Elder Abuse leads to great bodily injury or a death, Section (b)(1) is violated.

Since Elder Abuse may be a Misdemeanor or a Felony, depending on the facts of your case, the crime is a “wobbler”[32] under California law. Elder Abuse is related to Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury because in both crimes an elderly person may be battered to the point of critical injury or even death.

If you're convicted of the Felony form of Elder Abuse under Section (b)(1), the penalty may be:

  • A term of up to eleven (11) years in a state prison;[33],[34] OR,
  • A fine of up to $6,000 (six-thousand dollars); OR,
  • Both a fine and imprisonment.[35]

Note: While CPC §368(b)(1) calls for a maximum of four years in state prison, an additional term of seven years will be assigned for causing the death of someone aged 70 or older.[36] Also, “[a]n elder is someone who is at least 65 years old,” while “[a] dependent adult is someone who is between 18 and 64 years old and has physical or mental limitations that restrict his or her ability to carry out normal activities or to protect his or her rights.”[37]

You can always find more information in the Elder Abuse section of the Kann California Defense Group's website. Feel free to contact the Kann Defense Group offices in Santa Clarita, Ventura, Encino, Pasadena or Los Angeles/Los Angeles County. Your call will always go directly to a lawyer. It's always guaranteed.

California Criminal Jury Instructions – Elder Abuse

To convict you under CPC §368(b)(1), the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

You willfully inflicted unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering on an elder or dependent adult or

permitted an elder or dependent adult to suffer or, while having custody of an elder or dependent adult, you permitted the person's health to be injured, or, while having custody of an elder or dependent adult, you permitted the victim to be placed in a situation where his or her health was endangered. You also permitted the victim to suffer, be injured, or endangered under circumstances likely to produce great bodily harm or death. The victim is, or was, an elder or a dependent adult. Finally, when you acted, you knew (or reasonably should've known) that the person was an elder adult or a dependent adult.[38]

Example: Defendant Dona takes her dog for a walk and encounters an elderly man, Victim Verne. Verne accidentally stumbles and kicks Dona's dog. Dona becomes livid, seizes Verne's polished steel cane, and begins to beat Verne about the head with it. Soon Verne is bleeding profusely. Neighbors see the attack and report it.[39] Dona is arrested for violating CPC §368(b)(1). Should she be convicted of the charge?

Conclusion: Dona struck an elderly man about the head with a steel cane, inflicting pain she could not justify under the circumstances. We can reasonably presume that Dona knew Verne was elderly; Verne's very advanced age would likely be visible to anyone who looked at him. Dona also used force that could have resulted in great bodily harm or death; beating a 92-year-old on the head with a steel cane could easily inflict life-threatening injury. Dona, it follows, should be convicted of Elder Abuse.   

Assault With A Deadly Weapon

 

California's law regarding Assault With A Deadly Weapon (CPC §245(a)(1)) applies whenever anyone assaults another person with a deadly weapon, or a weapon other than a firearm, or when anyone assaults another person using force likely to produce great bodily injury.

Since you can be charged with either a Misdemeanor or a Felony under §245(a)(1), the crime is a “wobbler.”[40] Assault With A Deadly Weapon is related to Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury because violations of CPC §243(d) can easily occur using a deadly weapon in violation of CPC §245(a)(1).

 If you're convicted of the Felony form of Assault With A Deadly Weapon, the penalty may be:

  • A term of up to four (4) years in a state prison; OR,
  • A fine of up to $10,000 (ten-thousand dollars); OR,
  • Both a fine and imprisonment.[41]

Note: Assault With A Deadly Weapon counts as a “strike” under California's “Three Strikes” system.[42] If you receive three “strikes,” you will spend at least twenty-five years in a state prison.[43]

You can always find more information in the Assault section of the Kann California Defense Group's website. Feel free to contact the Kann Defense Group offices in Santa Clarita, Ventura, Encino, Pasadena or Los Angeles/Los Angeles County. Your call will always go directly to a lawyer. It's always guaranteed.

California Criminal Jury Instructions – Assault With A Deadly Weapon

To convict you under CPC §245(a)(1), the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

You did an act with a deadly weapon other than a firearm that by its nature would directly and

probably result in applying force to a person or you did an act that, by its nature, would directly and probably result in applying force to a person. The force was likely to produce great bodily injury. You did the act willfully. When you acted, you were aware of facts that would lead a reasonable person to realize that the act would directly and probably result in applying force to someone. When you acted, you had the present ability to apply force likely to produce great bodily injury with a deadly weapon other than a firearm. Finally, you didn't act in self-defense or in defense of someone else.

Example: Defendant Dion gets into a fistfight with Victim Vint. Seeing a chance to hurt Vint badly as he falls to the ground, Dion kicks Vint in the side until Vint's ribs break. Vint, bleeding internally, begins to cough up blood and reports Dion to the police. Dion defends himself by insisting that hands and feet aren't “deadly weapons,” even though the prosecutor in his case thinks that they can be.[44] Should Dion be convicted of the charge?

Conclusion: The law doesn't just forbid using objects in a deadly assault; hands and feet can be used in “applying force to a person.” Thus §245(a)(1) can be violated without using a “deadly weapon.” When Dion kicked Vint until his ribs snapped, causing internal bleeding, he used force likely to produce great bodily injury. He did this willfully and had no legal excuse. Kicking Vint in the ribs when he was down would lead any reasonable person to understand that Vint was having force applied to him. Finally, Dion clearly had the present ability to apply force to Vint. Dion should be convicted of violating §245(a)(1).

Assault

California law on Assault (CPC §240) makes it unlawful to attempt to “commit a violent injury” [45] against another person. The actual Assault needn't involve touching the other person, however, and the prosecution doesn't have to prove that touching occurred. Even slight touching (including touching someone through the clothing) can be enough for an Assault. The touching can also occur indirectly.

If you're convicted of Assault, the penalty may be:

  • A term of up to six (6) months in the county jail; OR,
  • A fine of up to $1,000 (one-thousand dollars); OR,
  • Both imprisonment and a fine.[46]

Note:  The prosecution doesn't have to prove that you intended on hurting anyone. However, “if someone was injured, [the jury] may consider that fact, along with all the other evidence, in deciding whether [you] committed an assault.” That you were intoxicated voluntarily is not a defense, however.[47]

You can find more information in the Assault section of the Kann California Defense Group's website. Feel free to contact the Kann Defense Group offices in Santa Clarita, Ventura, Encino, Pasadena or Los Angeles/Los Angeles County. Your call will go directly to a lawyer. We always guarantee it.

California Criminal Jury Instructions – Assault

To convict you under CPC §240, the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

You did something that would directly and probably result in applying force to another person. You        did it willfully. When you did it, a reasonable person would've realized the act would result in applying force. Finally, you had the present ability to apply force.

Example: Defendant Danica detests her neighbor, Victim Vonn. Vonn is standing in her front yard when Danica goes to water her own lawn. She sees Vonn, turns her garden hose to the maximum pressure level, walks twenty feet to the low wall separating their properties and sprays Vonn with ice cold water. Vonn calls the police and reports Danica for an illegal Assault. Should Danica be convicted under §240?    

Conclusion: Danica willfully sprayed Vonn with water. While this may not seem significant, striking Vonn with water qualifies as applying “force to another person.” As Danica detests Vonn, and walked twenty feet to spray her, it's also reasonable to assume that Danica realized her act would result in force being applied against Vonn. Danica also ensured she had the ability to apply force to Vonn when she crossed the lawn to spray over the wall. Therefore, Danica should be convicted of Assault under CPC §240.

Aggravated Assault

There are several possible aggravations of Assault, all of which could result in a significantly enhanced prison sentence and/or fine. These additional facts tend to focus on certain classes of people being involved in the Assault, like firefighters, or the use of weapons.

Assault using a semiautomatic firearm is listed as Aggravated Assault (CPC §245(b)). An Aggravated Assault needn't involve touching the victim and the prosecution doesn't have to prove that touching occurred. Even slight touching (including touching someone through the clothing) can be enough to violate the law. The illegal touching can also occur indirectly.

If you're convicted of Aggravated Assault under CPC §245(b), the penalty may be:

  • A term of up to nine (9) years in state prison;[48] OR,
  • A fine of up to $10,000 (ten-thousand dollars); OR,
  • Both a fine and imprisonment.[49]

 

Note:  The prosecution doesn't have to prove you intended on hurting anyone. However, “if someone was injured, [the jury] may consider that fact, along with all the other evidence, in deciding whether [you] committed an assault.”[50]

You can find more information in the Assault section of the Kann California Defense Group's website. Feel free to contact the Kann Defense Group offices in Santa Clarita, Ventura, Encino, Pasadena or Los Angeles/Los Angeles County. Your call will go directly to a lawyer. That's always a guarantee.

California Criminal Jury Instructions – Aggravated Assault

To convict you under CPC §245(b), the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

You did an act with a semiautomatic firearm that by its nature would directly and probably result in applying force to a person. You did the act willfully. When you acted, you were aware of facts that would lead a reasonable person to realize that the act would directly and probably result in applying force to someone. When you acted, you had the present ability to apply force with a semiautomatic firearm. Finally, you didn't act in self-defense or in defense of someone else.

Example: Defendant Darrell gets into an argument with a man, Victim Vernon, inside a bar. The man, who's very large, becomes angry and threatens to “take” Darrell “outside” to “shut” his mouth.  Darrell pulls a Derringer, an antique two-shot pistol, from his pocket. He points the loaded weapon at Vernon. Vernon flees, find a police officer, and has Darrell arrested for violating §245(b). Darrell insists he didn't violate the law because Derringers aren't a form of “semiautomatic” firearm. Should he be convicted?     

Conclusion:  Darrell pointed a firearm at Vernon, which obviously would be considered something that could lead to applying force against Vernon. He did the act willfully and we can presume he was aware the act would cause Vernon to think he was in danger of being shot. Darrell also had the present ability to shoot Vernon; the Derringer was loaded. However, Darrell is correct - Derringers aren't considered “semiautomatic weapons.” [51] Darrell shouldn't be convicted under Section (b) for at least this reason.[52]

Resisting An Executive Officer

California's law against Resisting An Executive Officer (CPC §69(a)) applies when anyone deters or prevents an “executive officer”[53] from performing job duties through threats or violence. It's isn't illegal to take pictures of an executive officer performing duties if you have a right to be present.  You also have a right to resist an executive officer if he or she is making an illegal arrest or using excessive force.

If you're convicted of Resisting An Executive Officer, the penalty may be:

  • A term of up to one (1) year in a county jail; OR,
  • A fine of up to $10,000 (ten-thousand dollars); OR,
  • Both a fine and imprisonment.[54]

Note: Resisting An Executive Officer is also punishable under CPC §1170(h),[55]  which makes it a part of California's “Three Strikes” system.

You can always find more information on the Resisting An Executive Officer page of the Kann California Defense Group's website. Feel free to contact the Kann Defense Group offices in Santa Clarita, Ventura, Encino, Pasadena or Los Angeles/Los Angeles County. Your call will go directly to a lawyer - guaranteed.

California Criminal Jury Instructions – Resisting An Executive Officer

To convict you under CPC §69(a), the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

You unlawfully used force or threat to resist an executive officer performing his or her lawful duty and you knew the officer was performing his or her duty when you acted.

 

Example:  Defendant Deena is in a hurry to get to work one morning. She exits her apartment to find that a uniformed Parking Patrol Officer, Victim Van, is about to attach a ticket to her window. Deena pleads with Van but he won't listen. Finally, frustrated and worried that she'll be late, Deena threatens to “jam the ticket down” Van's “throat” if he won't let her leave. Van, who's completely shocked, lets Deena go before calling police. Deena is arrested for violating §69(a). Should Deena be convicted?

Conclusion: Deena encountered an executive officer (a Parking Patrol Officer) who was performing duties lawfully associated with his job (writing tickets for vehicles). Deena, who encountered Van as he was putting a ticket on her car, would've known that a uniformed Patrol Officer was performing duties at the time she threatened him. Finally, while Deena's statement may seem generic, Deena made an unlawful threat so as to prevent Van from performing his job. Deena should be convicted under §69(a).    

Resisting Arrest

California's law prohibiting Resisting Arrest (CPC §148(a)(1)) applies whenever a person resists or delays officers who're performing duties of their positions. Section 148(a)(1) also applies to efforts to prevent emergency technicians from doing their jobs. As with Resisting An Executive Officer [above], it's not illegal to film an officer performing his or her job duties, so long as you have the right to be present. It also isn't unlawful to resist an officer who's making an illegal arrest or using excessive force in an arrest.

If you're convicted of Resisting Arrest, the penalty may be:

  • A term of up to one (1) year in a county jail; OR,
  • A fine of up to $1,000 (one-thousand dollars); OR,
  • Both a fine an imprisonment.[56]

Note: Section 148(a)(1) applies to resisting officers ranging from police to peace officers and emergency technicians.[57]    

You can always find more information on the Resisting Arrest page of the Kann California Defense Group's website. Feel free to contact the Kann Defense Group offices in Santa Clarita, Ventura, Encino, Pasadena or Los Angeles/Los Angeles County. Your call will go directly to a lawyer. That's guaranteed.

California Criminal Jury Instructions – Resisting Arrest

To convict you under CPC §148(a)(1), the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

A peace officer, public officer, or emergency medical technician was lawfully performing or attempting to perform his or her duties when you willfully resisted, obstructed, or delayed that person. When you acted, you knew, or reasonably should've known, that the person was an officer who was performing or attempting to perform official duties.

Example: Defendant Dina writes for her college newspaper. One evening she drives past a house where police are responding to an emergency call. Dina takes notes for an article she plans on writing. At one point she approaches Victim Vigo, a police officer standing outside a line of ‘Caution' tape, and begins to ask him questions about the situation. Vigo, who doesn't like the press, tells her to leave or he will arrest her. Dina insists she has a right to be present, since they're outside the barrier created by the tape, and she's on a public street. Vigo arrests her under CPC §148(a)(1). Should Dina be convicted of the charge?     

Conclusion: Dina knew that she was talking with a police officer when Vigo arrested her. Dina also knew that Vigo was one of the police responding to the call at the house, meaning that Vigo was performing duties lawfully associated with his position when Dina approached him. However, while Vigo might try to argue that Dina was ‘obstructing' his work, Dina, a member of the press, did nothing more than ask Vigo questions while they stood outside the ‘Caution' line, ensuring that Dina was at a safe distance from the police scene when she addressed Vigo. (Also, just asking questions likely wouldn't impede Vigo in his duties, under the circumstances.) Dina, who had a right to be present, should be acquitted. 

Battery On A Peace Officer

 

CPC §243 contains two sections relevant to committing Battery On A Peace Officer. The first, Section 243(b), applies if you commit Battery against a person who's employed in any one of a list of professions[58] when you know (or reasonably should know) that he or she is performing job duties.

If you're convicted under CPC §243(b), the penalty may be:

  • A term of up to one (1) year in county jail; OR,
  • A fine of up to $1,000 (one-thousand dollars); OR,
  • Both a fine and imprisonment.[59]

The second section, CPC §243(c), applies to any person who commits a Battery resulting in injury to a person listed in the Section.[60] Again, the person battered must be engaged in lawful performance of his or her job duties when the battery occurs, and you must know (or reasonably should know) that that person is doing his or her job at the time.

If you're convicted under CPC §243(c), which is a Felony, the penalty may be:

  • A term of up to three (3) years in a county jail; OR,
  • A fine of up to $2,000 (two-thousand dollars); OR,
  • Both a fine and imprisonment.[61]

Note: The victim doesn't have to be on duty at the time the Battery occurs.[62] If the victim is in a police uniform and performing job duties but working on a private part-time basis as a security guard, the statute still applies.[63] Finally, there's another relevant section, CPC §243(d), which deals solely with inflicting serious injury.[64]

You can find more information on the Battery page of the Kann California Defense Group's website. Feel free to contact the Kann Defense Group offices in Santa Clarita, Ventura, Encino, Pasadena or Los Angeles/Los Angeles County. Your call will go directly to a lawyer. That's always guaranteed.

California Criminal Jury Instructions – Battery On A Peace Officer

To convict you under CPC §243(b), the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

The victim was a peace officer as defined under the law. He or she was performing the duties of a peace officer when you willfully and unlawfully touched the person in a harmful or offensive manner. Finally, when you acted, you knew, or reasonably should've known, that he or she was a peace officer who was performing his or her duties.

Example:  Defendant Davina, a computer repair person, is worried that she'll be sued by Angry Customer over a broken mainframe. Her suspicions are confirmed one afternoon when a process server, Victim Vanya, appears on her doorstep. Vanya tries to convince Davina to take the court summons papers he has with him but Davina slams the door in his face. Vanya reports Davina for violating §243(b). Davina is arrested. Should Davina be convicted of the charge?     

Conclusion:  Davina was dealing with a process server, a job that's part of the class of persons protected by Section (b). Obviously Davina also knew that she was dealing with a process server, since Vanya was trying to give her a summons, and Davina was worried about Angry Customer suing her in the first place. However, while the door may have come close to Vanya's person, the facts do not say that Vanya was touched in any way. Thus there was no battery. Davina, it follows, must be acquitted of this charge.  

 

What Can I Do If I'm Charged With Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury?

The State of California treats Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury as a serious offense. If you're charged with Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury, it's essential that you retain a skilled, dedicated criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Your rights, freedom, and livelihood are at stake.

Remember, a professional criminal defense attorney may be able to:

  • Negotiate a lesser charge in a plea bargain;
  • Reduce your sentence;
  • Or even get charges dismissed completely.

The attorneys at the Kann California Defense Group have an excellent understanding of the local courts and an extensive knowledge of California's criminal justice system. We can represent you in Ventura, Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, Encino, Pasadena and many other Southern California cities. If you or someone you know has been arrested for, or charged with, Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury, our attorneys will analyze the facts of your case and plan a strategy that will help you obtain the best possible outcome.

Contact the Kann California Defense Group today to schedule your free and confidential consultation.   

References

[1] See “Wobbler” definition at USLegal.com.

[2] “Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose. It is not required that he or she intend to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage.” See California Criminal Jury Instructions 925 (CALCRIM) (2017).

[3] “The touching can be done indirectly by causing an object [or someone else] to touch the other person.” See above.

[4] “A serious bodily injury means a serious impairment of physical condition. Such an injury may include, but is not limited to: loss of consciousness/ concussion/ bone fracture/ protracted loss or impairment of function of any bodily member or organ/ a wound requiring extensive suturing/ and serious disfigurement.” See above.

[5] See California Criminal Jury Instructions 925 (CALCRIM) (2017).

[6] See Endnote 1.

[7] See CPC §243(d).

[8] See CPC §19.

[9] See Endnote 7.

[10] See CPC §672.

[11] Darren could still be prosecuted for Battery (CPC §242).

[12] Fact pattern parallels an incident in which an FBI agent dropped his firearm while dancing at a nightclub and shot someone. See “Dancing FBI agent who accidentally shot someone will not face jail time” by Amir Vera. CNN Online, December 21, 2018.

[13] See California Criminal Jury Instructions 3470 (CALCRIM) (2017).

[14] See California Criminal Instructions 960 (CALCRIM) (2017).

[15] See Endnote 8.

[16] See Endnote 14.

[17] See CPC §243.4(a).

[18] See Endnote 1.

[19] See Endnote 17.

[20] See CPC §290(c).

[21] See California Criminal Jury Instructions 935 (CALCRIM) (2017).

[22] Facts based on People v. Arnold, Cal.App.4th, 5th Dist., No. F014019 (1992). (Defendant Arnold appealed from multiple Sexual Battery convictions, claiming insufficient evidence and failure to show he'd “restrained” victim; Court of Appeals held for State on majority of counts.)  

[23] See CPC §273.5(a).

[24] See CPC §273.5(b)(1)-(4) for the complete list.

[25] See Endnote 1.

[26] See Endnote 23.

[27] See California Criminal Jury Instructions 840 (CALCRIM) (2017).

[28] Damian could still be charged with Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury (CPC §243(d)) and other crimes.

[29] See CPC §243(e)(1).

[30] See above.

[31] See California Criminal Jury Instructions 841 (CALCRIM) (2017).

[32] See Endnote 1.

[33] See CPC §368(b)(1) for basic sentence.

[34] See CPC §368(b)(1)(3)(B) for additional sentence.

[35] See CPC §368(b)(1).

[36] See Endnotes 33 and 34.

[37] See California Criminal Jury Instructions 830 (CALCRIM) (2017).

[38] Additional facts must be shown to prove that criminal negligence was involved or that you were under a legal duty to supervise the alleged victim. See above.

[39] Fact pattern based on “Los Angeles woman pleads no contest in brick attack on 92-year-old man” by Phil Hesel. MSNBC News Online, Dec. 27, 2018.

[40] See Endnote 1.

[41] See CPC §245(a)(1).

[42] See CPC §1170(h).

[43] See CPC §667(2)(A)(ii).

[44] Facts based on People v. Aguilar, 16 Cal.4th 1023 (1997). (Defendant claimed legal error in municipal court instruction that hands and feet could be “deadly weapons”; Supreme Ct. held instruction error was harmless, upheld conviction.)

[45] See CPC §240.

[46] See Endnote 8.

[47] See California Criminal Jury Instructions 915 (CALCRIM) (2017).

[48] See CPC §245(b).

[49] See Endnote 10.

[50] See California Criminal Jury Instructions 875 (CALCRIM) (2017).

[51] See “Derringer” at Wikipedia.org.

[52] Darrell would likely be charged instead under CPC §245(a)(2).

[53] See California Criminal Jury Instructions 2652 (CALCRIM) (2017).

[54] See CPC §69(a).

[55] See above.

[56] See CPC §148(a)(1).

[57] See California Criminal Jury Instructions 2656 (CALCRIM) (2017).

[58] See CPC §243(b).

[59] See above.

[60] See CPC §243(c)(1).

[61] See CPC §243(c)(2).

[62] See above.

[63] See Endnote 61.

[64] See CPC §243(d).

Menu