If you have been charged with battery in the state of California, the penalties you may be facing differ depending on whether you are convicted of misdemeanor battery or felony battery.  A battery may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on several different factors.  A criminal conviction on your record can have serious implications for your future, especially if you are convicted of a felony.

Due to the lasting impact of a battery conviction, you should speak with an attorney experienced in handling criminal defense cases.  Contact California criminal defense attorney Johann Hall today to get started building the best defense in your battery case.  Attorney Johann Hall has years of experience and has handled several cases like yours, with positive results for his clients.

Misdemeanor Battery

California law defines battery as the “willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.”  The severity of the penalties you are facing if convicted of battery is dependent on a number of different factors.  The facts surrounding the alleged battery are a very important aspect of your case. 

Battery is charged under Section 242 of the California Penal Code.  Battery is often charged as a misdemeanor and occurs when a person willfully and unlawfully inflicts force or violence upon another person.  One of the elements of battery is that the defendant must have willfully made contact with another person in some way.  This is one of the facts that must be proven at trial in order to establish that the crime of battery occurred.

Penalties You May Be Facing If Convicted of Misdemeanor Battery

If convicted of battery as a misdemeanor, you may be facing up to six months of time in a county jail.  Additionally, you may be required to pay a fine of up to two thousand dollars as well as restitution to the victim.  Depending on the circumstances, the judge may also choose to sentence you to a period of probation.  Restitution may be ordered if the victim incurred medical bills as a result of the battery.  If convicted, you may be ordered to pay for all of the victim’s medical treatment.

Other factors taken into account when a judge determines sentencing for a battery is whether there are any aggravating factors, as well as the severity of the crime.  The judge will also consider the defendant’s criminal history if any.

Battery of a Peace Officer or Other Special Profession While in the Course of Their Duties

A battery committed against members of certain professions while in the course of their duties can result in higher penalties to you if you are convicted.  A complete list of the professionals that are included is listed in California Penal Code in more detail under section 243(b) of the Code.  Some of these professionals include peace officers, firefighters, lifeguards, traffic officers, physicians, and nurses. 

For the stricter penalties to apply to you, you must also have or reasonably should have known that the battery victim was a member of one of these protected professions.  Your attorney will be able to assess the facts of your case and advise you if this section of the California Penal Code applies to your case.  The more severe penalties applicable in these cases include a more extended period of time in a county jail, typically up to one year rather than the standard battery limit of six months.  The fine can be increased from not more than two thousand dollars to up to ten thousand dollars in cases where the victim is a peace officer.

Felony Battery

A battery may be charged as a felony under certain circumstances.  If a deadly weapon is used or if the battery resulted in serious bodily harm to the victim, then these types of cases are typically charged as felonies.  Felony battery convictions can result in sentences that include time spent in county jail for up to a year, or imprisonment in state prison for up to four years, or a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars.  A judge may also order both a fine and imprisonment. A battery conviction can have severe, lasting consequences for you, especially if you are convicted of a felony.  When you are dealing with such a serious charge with lasting impact on your future, it is important to hire an attorney with the skillset to help you fight these charges.  Call criminal defense attorney Johann Hall today at (707) 360-8717 or fill out our online contact form to discuss your charge and to get started fighting back.