Penal Code Sections 242, 243

A Battery occurs whenever one person touches another without consent. A Battery can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. The amount of injury to the victim will usually decide whether the case is charged as a felony or a misdemeanor.

A misdemeanor battery carries a maximum of 1 year in jail; however most misdemeanor batteries carry little or no jail time with a skillful attorney.

A felony battery under Penal Code Section 243 is a maximum of 3 years in state prison. It should be noted, however, that if a person commits a battery by shooting another person such a crime can result in a charge of manslaughter or attempted murder which carry much higher sentences including life in prison.

Self-defense or defense of others is a complete defense to this crime. If a person must use physical force to keep himself or others from being harmed, then a crime was not committed. The force must be reasonable and similar. So, a gun being used when the other party is not armed, might not be deemed reasonable self-defense. If you are charged with a misdemeanor case of battery, you may be eligible for Court Diversion [Penal Code Section 1001.95]. The Judge can grant this program which results in a dismissal, even if the Prosecutor can prove the case and over their objection. Court Diversion also does not require a guilty plea like other diversion programs and the arrest and charge can be Sealed [Penal Code Section 851.90-851.91] once the court dismisses the case. One a case is sealed under these sections a private background check will NOT reveal that you were arrested or ever charged with an offense.

Even if a Battery is filed as a Felony, you may be eligible for Mental Health Diversion [Penal Code 1001.36] or Young Adult Court (only available in Orange County). See a detailed description of diversion programs in Orange County and state wide on this website.

Call Orange County Battery Lawyer Will Bruzzo at (714) 547 4636 to discuss the charges you are facing and any defenses or options for dismissal.

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