Battery | California PC 243


Violent crimes are punishable by severe penalties in the state of California. Unfortunately for many, even a simple charge of battery can lead to harsh consequences. Anyone charged with battery should recognize what they’re up against. Because of the relative harshness of the consequences related to the crime, an individual should try their best to fight a conviction. To do this, however, they must first understand the charge.

What is Battery?

California statutes related to battery are, considering the relative simplicity of the actual definition of the charge, highly complex. Battery is simply the unlawful and willful use of violence or any force against another person. Assault charges differ from battery in the fact that an assault is simply the attempt at performing a battery. Swinging at a person, for instance, is assault; swinging at a person and hitting them is battery.

Bail Amounts for Battery

Since the State of California doesn’t set bail amounts, the amount of money a person will have to pay to secure bail will vary greatly depending on where they’re arrested. Many people quickly learn how serious the charges against them are when they learn how high California counties set their bail amount for battery. It’s always advisable to contact a bail bond agency in these instances since they are the best source of pertinent information, and most rapid path to early release. With California bail fees set at a maximum of 10 percent of the face amount, it’s often a person’s only course of action to getting out of jail.

The crime of battery will result in a bail amount of $20,000 in San Luis Obispo County. In San Diego County, this amount is only $8,000. Depending on the circumstances of the battery, however, these amounts can go up substantially. If the victim was a peace officer, for instance, bail goes up to $25,000 in San Luis Obispo. Some counties do have somewhat lesser bail amounts, but as opposed to other types of charges they’re still high. Ventura County, for example, sets their bail amount at $10,000 for battery.

Penalties for a Battery Conviction

Much like the aforementioned bail amounts, penalties related to battery will greatly vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case. A battery conviction with no aggravating circumstances (such as being committed against a policeman) will result in fines of up to $2,000 and a jail term of up to six months. This is a misdemeanor charge, but a person who causes a serious bodily injury can face a felony charge that will result in up to four years in prison and a “strike.”

Additional penalties can also be levied against a person convicted of attacking a firefighter, animal control agent and numerous other public employees. In these cases, fines of up to $10,000 and four years in prison are not unheard of.

Battery charges are considered very serious in California, and because of this, those convicted of the crime can face harsh consequences. The most important thing to do after being arrested on these charges is to secure bail. Whether this entails paying out of pocket or using a bail bond agency, it should simply be done. This will allow an individual to quickly begin working on their defense, and this time can be invaluable when faced with a battery charge.

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