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Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury: Penal Code § 243(d) PC

May 12, 2018 California Penal Code

Battery is a serious crime in which a person causes serious bodily harm to another individual. In the state of California, it is also referred to as “aggravated battery.” Per the California Penal Code 243(d) PC, the crime occurs when a person touches another in an offensive or harmful manner and causes serious bodily injury to the other person as a result.

Examples of Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury

Two men get into an argument while in a crowded bar. One man accidentally bumped into the other and the latter becomes enraged and challenges the bumper to go outside and settle things. However, when they go outside, the first man pushes the second hard and causes him to fall on the pavement and hit his head. The second man sustains a concussion as a result. This is an example of battery causing serious bodily injury.

A second example of battery causing serious bodily injury is that a woman is riding her bicycle at night and is accosted by a man in dark clothing. The man shoves her bike over as she is wheeling just past him and she falls to the ground, immediately feeling a sharp pain in her ankle, which has sustained a compound fracture under the weight of the bicycle. The man snatches her wallet and runs away, leaving the woman in a crumpled heap of pain. Because the man saw the woman and intended to rob her by pushing her bicycle over with her on it, this would be considered an intentional act. Because she sustains a severe ankle injury, it is considered battery with serious bodily injury.

Penalties for Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury

In California law, aggravated battery is a crime that is also commonly known as “wobbler.” This means that the crime can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, the more serious charge. If a person is convicted of misdemeanor battery causing serious bodily injury, it can result in the following penalties:

• A maximum of one year in jail
• A fine of a maximum of $1,000

Felony aggravated battery causing serious bodily harm is the more serious charge. If a person is convicted, they can face the following penalties:

• Two, three or four years in jail
• A maximum fine of $10,000

Possible Defenses for the Crime of Battery Causing Serious Bodily Harm

A person who has been arrested on charges of battery causing serious bodily harm should always have an experienced criminal defense attorney on their side. These are very serious charges that can come with severe consequences for the long term. A great defense attorney can use the following potential defenses in court:

• The lawyer can argue that you acted in self-defense or in the defense of another person
• The lawyer can argue that the battery was an accident
• The lawyer can debate the plaintiff’s injury and say that it wasn’t serious

Legal Definition of Battery Causing Serious Injury in California

In general, in order to be convicted of the crime of battery causing serious bodily injury in California, the following must be in place:

• The individual committed battery in the state of California
• The battery the individual perpetrated caused serious bodily injury to another person

Legal Definition of Serious Injury

In general, the chief element of the crime of battery causing serious bodily injury is the actual bodily injury that the victim sustains. There are a few types of injuries that fall under the category of “serious.” They include the following:

• Bone fractures
• Concussion
• Loss of consciousness
• Loss of limb or impairment or function of a body part or organ
• Serious disfigurement
• Wounds that require extensive suturing

Penalties for Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury

As the crime of battery causing serious bodily injury is considered a “wobbler” in California, there are different penalties the defendant can face depending on whether they are convicted of a misdemeanor or felony. To reach the decision of which conviction the individual receives, the prosecutor can take into consideration the facts of the case and the defendant’s criminal history, if any exists.



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