Battery – Penal Code 242

Penal Code 242 defines battery as any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another. The prosecutor has the burden to prove that the defendant willfully and unlawfully touched another person in a harmful or offensive manner and the defendant did not act in self-defense, defense of others or reasonable discipline of a child.  The prosecutor will attempt to show that the defendant’s conduct was willful when he or she acted with willingly or with the purpose of causing a harmful or offensive touching. It is not required that the Defendant intend to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage so long as the touching was harmful or offensive. For Penal Code 242, the slightest touching can be enough to commit a battery if it is done in a rude or angry way. Making contact with another person, including through his or her clothing, is enough. The touching does not have to cause pain or injury of any kind in order to for it to meet the willful element for Penal Code 242. Moreover, the touching can be done indirectly by causing an object or someone else to touch the other person.

Simple Battery pursuant to Penal Code 242 is a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine not exceeding $2000 or imprisonment in county not to exceed six months, or both. Courts may also have the discretion to impose community labor, community service, or anger management.

First time simple battery cases can often times be mitigated and sentencing avoided if defendant retains an attorney at the early stages who gets the case rejected.  Mr. Khachatourians has successfully rejected many battery cases by providing the prosecution the additional supportive facts to justify rejection of the cases.  Some common defenses arising from disputes are:

  • Victim was lying to obtain leverage for child custody purposes
  • Victim was lying to obtain leverage for spousal support purposes
  • Victim exaggerated the facts to have the police arrest the defendant
  • Victim lied about the circumstances to obtain a U-Visa in order to stay in the United States
  • Defendant used proportional force to stop Victim from hitting him or her
  • Defendant used proportional force to prevent victim from hitting the children
  • Victim was intoxicated and acting out of rage and hitting Defendant
  • Victim was the aggressor

Other Types of Battery Cases that may be filed are:

Post Sentencing Relief – Expungement

If your private counsel or your public defender has already pled you guilty or no contest to a charge of battery, you may be entitled to expunge your case Pursuant to Penal Code 1203.4.  If are not currently serving a sentence, you were not sentenced to state prison, you are no longer on probation, and you have complied with the probationary terms, you may petition the court Pursuant to Penal Code 1203.4 or Penal Code 1203.4a and Penal Code 17b, to reduce your felony to a misdemeanor (if applicable) and expunge your guilty or no contest plea.

If you are facing charges for battery or have already pled guilty to a battery charge, call attorney Arthur Khachatourians for a defense consultation at 818-590-8294.