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At its simplest definition, under California law, a battery is “an unlawful and unlawful use of force upon the person of another.”

A prosecutor must prove three facts or elements of a Penal Code §242 battery:
(1) that someone willfully, (2) used force or violence, (3) upon another person.

“Willfully” means with a purpose or willingness to commit the act. It does not refer to intent to break the law or intent to injure another person. It refers to the intent to make the contact with the other person.

The words “force or violence” refer to any illegal use of physical force against another person. The force or violence doesn’t need to result in pain or harm.

“Upon” means to touch. Under this law, to “touch” another person means to touch the person, his or her clothing, or something attached to or closely connected to that person.

A battery can be any willful and unlawful touch that is harmful and/or offensive. Even the slightest touch can qualify as a battery if it is done in an angry, offensive, or unwanted manner.

There are different variations of a battery crime, and depending on the degree, punishment. Usually a simple battery that does not result in serious bodily injury will be filed as a misdemeanor. If the battery results in seriously hurting someone, a person can be charged with a violation of Penal Code §243(d), which is a battery causing serious bodily injury. If a battery is committed against a police officer, a person can be charged with a violation of Penal Code §243, and the offense can be filed as a misdemeanor or as a felony, regardless of whether serious bodily injury results or not.

How Do I Get My Battery Charge or Case Dismissed?

If a prosecutor cannot prove the three elements of a battery, the charge should be dismissed. That’s why it is important to hire a lawyer who will work hard to defeat charges and show the court that the prosecutors cannot prove their case. Also, your freedom could be on the line and that’s why it’s important you call a lawyer who can properly defend you on your case.

Michael S. Carrillo has had many favorable outcomes on cases where his client was charged with battery, both felony and misdemeanor battery. The Law Offices of Michael S. Carrillo can provide you with a contact us and a breakdown of your case every step of the way. We pride ourselves on individualized attention to your case. To us, you’re not just a file but a person struggling to find the best outcome to your case. Give us a call at (626) 799-9375 or e-mail us at for an immediate response.