If you have been accused of committing battery and are facing criminal charges, it can be very concerning. Even an accusation of battery can result in negative consequences to your personal and professional life. A criminal charge of battery can be surprising, especially if you feel as if you did nothing wrong and no one got hurt. This is why it is important to understand want counts as a battery and that there are defenses available should you find yourself facing criminal battery charges.
What is Battery?
According to California Penal Code Section 242, “battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the personal of another.” Under this definition, a person can be charged with battery if there is unwanted touching of another person, even if no one was ultimately injured—it's the contact that counts. However, does this mean every time you bump into someone you can be convicted of battery? Not necessarily. There are specific defenses available.
Defenses to Battery
If you have been charged with battery, you may have one of the following defenses available:
- Self Defense or Defending Others: If you did make contact with another person, but were acting in self-defense or the defense of others, you have a legal defense to the charge of battery. For this defense to apply you must 1) believe you or another person was in imminent danger of bodily harm, 2) believe that force is necessary to prevent that harm, 3) use only force that was reasonably necessary to defend from the harm.
- Contact was not Willful: Another defense to battery is showing that the contact was not willful. This type of defense is useful if the contact was accidental—as mentioned above, you could use this defense if you bumped someone in a crowd but did not mean to.
Additionally, if you have been charged with battery against your child, you may have a legal defense if you used physical contact as a means of discipline and the contact was reasonable and not excessive.
Talk to an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
A conviction of battery can be panic inducing as it can have serious consequences in your life. If you are facing battery charges, contact a skilled criminal defense attorney at the Kann California Defense Group. We can look at the facts of your case and discuss available defenses—call us at (888) 744-7730 or contact us through our website to schedule a case consultation today!