What is Battery?
Battery is essentially defined as the unlawful touching of another. However, there are many different forms of battery as well as varying degrees of seriousness of battery and associated punishments, jail terms, fines, and terms of probation. Battery is commonly known as a wobbler, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of the case.
If you have been charged with Battery as set forth in Penal Code Section 242, the government is required to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, each of the following elements:
- A person used force or violence upon the person of another; and
- The use was willful and unlawful.
Further, the use of force or violence is not unlawful when done in self-defense or the defense of others, i.e. lawfully. The burden is on the government to prove that the use of force or violence was not in self-defense or in defense of others. If there is a reasonable doubt that the use of force or violence was unlawful, a jury will be instructed to find you not guilty.