Definition of Battery in California

Battery is defined as any willful and unlawful use of force or violence on another person.

What the DA Must Prove

In order for a person to be convicted of Battery, the people must prove that:

  • 1) The defendant willfully (and unlawfully) touched another person in a harmful or offensive manner; and
  • 2) The defendant did not act in self-defense, in defense of someone else, or when reasonably disciplining a child.

*Willfully – Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose. It is not required that he or she intend to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage.

*Self Defense – Protecting oneself, another person, or one’s property from the attack of an aggressor. A person has a right to defend themselves, another person, and/or their property with reasonable force if they have reason to believe that he/she/they is/are in immediate danger.

*Reasonable Force – The amount of force necessary to protect oneself or one’s property. The amount of force that a reasonable person would believe is necessary to prevent harm to oneself, another person, and/or one’s property.

Punishment for Battery in California

A person convicted of Battery in California faces up to six months in the county jail and/or a $2,000 fine.

Immigration Consequences

Criminal convictions can have drastic immigration consequences, such as deportation, denial of naturalization and exclusion from admission. Therefore, if you are not a U.S. citizen and you are charged with Assault in California, it is critical that you speak to a knowledgeable criminal/immigration attorney about your specific immigration status, your current criminal case, and your entire criminal history, to find out what effect an assault conviction would have on your immigration status.