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What is a criminal "battery" charge?

A criminal "battery" charge is a misdemeanor offensive touching.  The charge does not require any injury whatsoever.  It could be a shove, a punch, a slap, a grabbing or any rude or angry touching.  It has to be unlawful and intended, not accidental and not in self defense. Words alone, like name calling, do not justify any unlawful touching.  The California Penal Code (PC) section is 242.  That charge carries up to 6 months jail and $1000 fine.  Additionally, it is one of those charges that prohibits gun ownership or possession for 10 years.  If there is a weapon involved or injury, then it could be a felony.

There are more specific "battery" charges that carry increased penalties if a spouse, police officer or other designated public employee like emergency workers etc are the victim.  Those charges carry greater penalties and as misdemeanors can carry up to a year in jail.  Often these charges do not result in arrest but a citation unless they involve domestic violence or other special victims like police et al.  These charges can also greatly affect someone's licensing and employment especially if they are involved in child care, teaching, military, law enforcement, health care and other career choices.  Clearly with a record of "violence" it may greatly affect hiring in any field because of potential employer liability for work place violence if someone with that type of background is hired and there should ever be an incident at work.  

These charges can have a long term effect on an individual.  There are defenses and mitigating factors which can result in dismissal, lesser charges or lesser penalties.  There are many factors that can be used in defending these cases like the circumstances of the "contact", an individuals background, prior record, employment, career goals, relationship with the victim and the victim's background.  Call Christoph Law Offices at 760-941-5720 for a free consultation and evaluation of your case.  Located across from Vista Courts for over 32 years, we provide the highest level of personal and professional representation. An attorney can also make all the appearances for you.