Compared to assault, battery is the greater crime. People often use the terms “battery” and “assault” interchangeably, although these are two different crimes. California’s Penal Code 240 PC describes assault as the attempted use of force on another person. On the other hand, Penal Code 242 PC of California laws describe battery as the willful and illegal use of force against another person. While it is often possible to face assault charges alone, battery charges frequently tag along with assault charges. Moreover, the severity of the injuries suffered by a victim will dictate whether you will face felony or misdemeanor charges. If you are arrested on the grounds of battering another individual, turn to the 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds. We serve the entirety of Southern California, including Riverside, Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, and San Bernardino. Our licensed and compassionate agents can help you post bail to secure your freedom as the courts decide on your matter.
Given the grave nature of battery charges, judges are often not lenient when imposing the bail terms. Bail amounts can range from $2,000 — $1,000,000, depending on the severity of the crime. For instance, battery against an officer of the law attracts a bail of $2500 if the victim doesn’t suffer significant injuries. If an incident causes serious bodily harm, the bail amount could be as high as $100,000.
Battery Defined (Penal Code 242 PC)
Battery can be defined as the intentional and unlawful use of violence/force against another individual. For the prosecution to convict you of battery, they need to prove three essential elements. They include:
- You deliberately/ willfully
- Touched another person
- In an offensive or harmful manner
Let’s have a closer look at the fundamental terms used to describe battery.
One of the main elements the prosecution must prove during a battery case is that your actions were “willful” or “deliberate.” The term willful means that you were conscious of your actions. You can be charged even if your actions were not intended to cause bodily harm, break the law or gain an advantage over your victim.
You can be charged with battery and convicted even if your intentions were not to cause harm. As long as you willfully/ intentionally/ deliberately performed the motion that you knew or should have known could cause injury, these are adequate grounds for the prosecution to convict you.
Touched another Person
For a crime to be termed battery, you need to have made physical contact with your victim. California laws use the term “touch,” meaning that you don’t need to cause bodily harm for you to be convicted. Even a slight touch constitutes battery.
You can be charged with battery even when touching occurs under the following circumstances:
- Through the clothing
- By use of an object (indirect touching)
Moreover, you can also be found guilty of battery if you offensively touch something connected to another person’s body. For instance, if you knock over a cup that a victim is holding, this constitutes battery even if you don’t touch an actual part of their body.
In an offensive or harmful manner
Touching is considered battery when it is done in a manner that causes harm or offense.
The touching could be:
- Disrespectful/ abusive
- Rude/ displeasing
Types of Battery Charges
Battery is a broad term used to define different types of assaults that involve threatening another individual and touching them offensively or harmfully. While the basic definition of battery is outlined in Penal Code 240 PC, this Penal Code has sections that define other types of battery and their potential penalties.
Let’s have a look at the different types of battery:
Battery can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. A person who violates California’s Penal Code Sec. 243 (a) is charged with a misdemeanor battery. The penalties for the crime are as follows:
- A fine not exceeding $2000
- Incarceration for up to 6 months in county jail
On the other hand, California’s Penal Code Sec. 243(c) outlines the penalty for battery that inflicts injury on another person. Inflicting injury on the victim increases the punishment substantially. Whether you will be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor highly depends on the severity of the injuries suffered by a victim.
If a crime is charged as a misdemeanor, you may face penalties, including:
- A maximum fine of $2,000
- Imprisonment for up to 1 year in a county jail
If a crime is charged as a felony, the penalty will include:
- A fine not exceeding $10,000
- Jail time for 16 months/ 2 years/ 3 years in state prison
California’s Penal Code Sec. 243(b) defines the punishment for committing battery against a particular class of people, including a firefighter, peace officer, or emergency personnel. A crime could be charged as a misdemeanor if a victim doesn’t suffer serious bodily harm. However, it could be charged as a felony if the incident inflicts injuries as defined under Penal Code Sec. 243(c).
Battery Causing Serious Physical Injury
Battery causing severe physical (bodily) injury can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. California’s Penal Code Section 243(d) outlines the penalties for this crime as follows:
- Up to 1— year jail time in county jail (misdemeanor)
- Incarceration for 2, 3, or 4 years in state prison (felony)
If you are convicted of a felony under Penal Code Section 243(d), this conviction will be subject to California's Three Strikes law. The third strike on your record could have you imprisoned for 25—years to life.
Battery against a family member or someone you know intimately is a crime under California’s Penal Code Sec. 243(e) (1). This could be battery against persons like your girlfriend/boyfriend, spouse, domestic partner, sibling, aunt, uncle, or the parent of your kid, just to mention a few. The courts often take domestic battery charges seriously because the affected relationships ought to be built on trust.
If convicted, the penalty is as follows:
- A fine not exceeding $2000
- Jail time in county jail for up to 1—year
California’s Penal Code Sec. 243.4(e) (1) defines sexual battery and the charges it attracts. This form of battery is subject to stricter penalties because of its depraved nature. The Penal Code describes the crime as the unwanted touching of someone else’s intimate part. Defendants often commit the offense for sexual gratification, arousal, or abuse.
If convicted, you may face the following penalties:
- A fine not exceeding $2,000
- Up to 6—months incarceration in county jail
Violating Penal Code Sec. 243.4(e) (1) is considered a serious crime, and if convicted, the laws require you to register for life as a California sex offender under Penal Code Sec. 290.
Another form of sexual battery is defined under California’s Penal Code Section 243.4(a). The section describes the crime as the unlawful touching of another person’s intimate part while illegally restraining them. You can be convicted under Penal Code Sec. 243.4(e) (1) irrespective of whether you restrained your victim in person or you had an accomplice.
This crime can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the unique circumstances of a case.
If convicted of a misdemeanor, the penalties imposed may include:
- A maximum fine of $2,000
- 1—imprisonment in county jail
If convicted of a felony, you may face the following punishment:
- A fine of up to $10,000
- Imprisonment for 2/ 3/ 4—years in state prison
Again, if you are convicted, the laws make it compulsory for you to register as a California sex offender for life under Penal Code Section 290.
Sexual battery is a broad term that also encompasses the crime of touching any intimate part of a person who is medically incapacitated, disabled or unconscious. You can also be convicted of sexual battery if you use force to make someone else touch any of your private body parts or those of a third party.
If you or a loved one is accused of any type of battery, one of the first things you can do is secure their freedom from jail. After the arraignment hearing, a judge will inform them of their charges and set the bail amount. We specialize in providing bail bond financing and can lend a hand if you cannot afford to raise the money.
Best Defenses to Fight Battery Charges
Irrespective of the type of battery you are accused of committing, there are surefire legal defense techniques that a skilled attorney could use. Depending on the specifics of your charges, these defenses could have your charges dropped or reduced.
Self-Defense/ Defense of another Person
One of the best defenses a lawyer can use is that you acted in self-defense or defense of someone else. This technique is often acceptable when the circumstances forced you to assume that you or someone else could be in danger if you failed to act.
When using this defense, it is crucial to justify the force used. It should be proportionate to the threat that you faced. Your lawyer should be able to argue that you stopped battering the victim once the threat lessened and you felt safe.
Your Actions Weren’t Intentional
An element the prosecution must prove to convict you of battery is that you violently touched another person intentionally. Proving this element can be tricky, and an attorney can argue that your action was accidental or was misunderstood by the victim.
If your actions during an incident do not amount to battery, your lawyer can argue that the accusations made against you are fabricated. When accused of domestic battery, for instance, your spouse could falsify a battery incident out of rage or vengeance, especially if you were involved in a heated argument.
An attorney can unveil the truth by conducting investigations or questioning witnesses. The accounts of other people can help the courts to understand what truly happened.
Alibi (Mistaken Identity)
Sometimes, a battered victim could mistake you for the actual perpetrator of a crime. Again, a skilled lawyer can convince the court that even though a crime was committed, you are not the defendant they are after.
The charges against you are likely to be dropped if you have an alibi. This could prove that you were not within a specific location when the alleged battery occurred.
You have a right to a free and fair trial. As such, the prosecution bears the burden of proof and must table evidence that shows you are guilty of battery beyond a reasonable doubt. If the available evidence is insufficient and can hardly support the accusations you face, the case is likely to be dropped.
It remains imperative to understand that you may still be charged with other offenses, depending on the available evidence. For instance, if the prosecution cannot prove the battery charges but can prove that you committed assault, you may end up with an assault conviction.
Setting foot in a police station, court, or jail for the first time can be a traumatizing experience. Even career offenders often feel overwhelmed whenever they brush shoulders with the criminal justice system. Fortunately, the judge is likely to set bail during the arraignment hearing. You can secure bail online or by phone if you reach out to us at the 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds.
Defenses That Are Not Considered Viable
If you commit battery while drunk or high on drugs, you can still be charged and convicted. This is because voluntary intoxication is not a viable defense. As an adult, you know or should know that consuming alcohol or taking drugs can impact your mental functioning. You are hence responsible for any crimes you commit following voluntary intoxication.
If you unlawfully touch another person or cause bodily harm because they provoked you, you can still be charged with battery. Irrespective of how offensive words can be, they cannot be considered an excuse to commit a crime.
A Step By Step Guide to Securing Your Freedom from Jail
If you face legal charges, bail bonds offer you an easy way to raise the bail amount. For most people, working with a bond dealer is the best option because they don’t have enough cash or cash substitutes such as property that you can use as surety.
Here are the steps to follow to regain your freedom after being jailed for battery:
Step 1: Know Your Bail Amount
Battery is a broad term used to describe a range of offenses. During the arraignment, a judge will consider your charges and the specifics of your crime before setting the bail amount. Other aspects that may be considered before setting bail include:
- Your criminal history
- The amount of evidence against you
- Your flight risk potential
Step 2: Find a Reputable Bail Bondsman
Most people are unable to post bail on their own. If this is your situation, a licensed bail bond agent can provide the much-needed financial assistance. You only need to settle a small nonrefundable fee for the bail process to be initiated.
Processing bail with a bail bondsman is pretty straightforward. The amount of money you require will dictate the terms of your agreement. Once you sign the contract and agree to its terms, bail can be posted in as little as half an hour.
Step 3: Show Up At Your Trial
Once bail is posted, the courts will issue an order to have you released. It is crucial to understand that at this point, the surety raised by a bail bondsman will become your financial responsibility. You must show up for hearings, or else the courts will seize the surety, and you may also face additional penalties such as fines or imprisonment.
If you attend all your court dates until your matter is determined, most, if not all, the bail amount will be refunded. Any friend or relative who signs off against the bail may be held liable if the courts are forced to seize the surety on the grounds that you failed to show up in court.
Why Choose 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds?
Facing battery charges can be an emotionally and economically challenging experience. Apart from the risk of ending up with a criminal record, the courts consider battery a grave crime and often set a high bail amount.
We make it our business to provide our clients with much-needed support as they navigate the criminal justice system. Apart from recommending a criminal attorney, we can also offer you bail financing coupled with flexible payment options. Whether you secure your bail online or over the phone, our agents will help you choose a repayment plan that works for you.
You can trust us with your issue, irrespective of the crime you are accused of committing. We remain non-judgmental and provide confidential services to make our clients feel at home. Because we offer 24-hour services, you can reach out to us at any time to quickly and conveniently secure your freedom from jail.
Here is what you can expect from us:
- 24-hour bail bond services
- Speedy release from jail
- Flexible payment options (cash, checks, and most debit/credit cards)
- Confidential bail bond services
- Lowest bail bond rates in the state
- Attorney recommendations
Find 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds Near Me
With a strong network of qualified and licensed bail bond agents, 24 Hour Online Bail Bonds proudly serves the entire of Southern California. We have a quick, easy, and convenient bail bond process that can ensure you secure your freedom within the least time possible. Call us now at 800-930-8999.