The crime of aggravated battery always involves the following: a person willfully touching someone in a harmful or offensive way and the victim suffering a serious injury as a result. It is for this reason that aggravated battery is often referred to as battery with serious bodily injury. This crime is punished harshly, and penalties can include massive fines and spending time in state prison. You may also suffer collateral consequences, such as difficulty finding a job and losing the trust of your family.
If you have been charged with aggravated battery, you may be concerned about what comes next. San Diego’s McElfresh Law understands that facing criminal charges can be a difficult emotional experience. Let San Diego aggravated battery lawyer Jessica McElfresh stand by you every step of the way and provide you with the best defense possible. She will work tirelessly to tell your side of the story so that your charges are dismissed in court. Call (858) 756-7107 today to see how McElfresh Law can help.
What Qualifies as Serious Bodily Injury?
The difference between battery and aggravated battery is the degree to which the victim is harmed. In order for a crime to qualify as aggravated battery, the victim must suffer a serious injury of some kind. By definition, serious bodily injury involves severe harm to one’s physical condition. Concussions, broken bones, loss of consciousness, and any injury requiring stitches are all considered serious. There is no exhaustive list of serious bodily injuries in California, so it is often up to a jury to decide if an injury qualifies. In certain cases, something as minor as a black eye can lead to aggravated battery.
Penalties for Aggravated Battery
According to California Penal Code 243(d), aggravated battery is considered a wobbler crime. This means that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. While both charges are serious, a felony conviction can lead to time spent in state prison. Aggravated assault is usually treated as a felony if the victim suffered injuries that were especially debilitating or cruel. Criminal penalties for both of these charges include, but are not limited to:
- Misdemeanor Aggravated Battery: Up to 1 year in county jail, up to $2,000 in fines, completion of a batterers class, and possibly community service
- Felony Aggravated Battery: 2, 3, or 4 years in state prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and a strike on your record in accordance with California’s Three Strikes Law.
A conviction for Penal Code 243(d) might also lead to unanticipated collateral consequences. If you are a gun owner, for example, an aggravated assault conviction will likely prohibit you from owning, possessing, or purchasing a firearm. Finding a job once you are released may also be difficult, as employers are reluctant to hire anyone with a criminal record.
Contact Our San Diego Aggravated Battery Lawyers
An experienced criminal defense attorney can apply a number of successful defenses to keep your record clean. If you were defending yourself or others, it is possible to have your charges eliminated altogether. California law allows bystanders to get involved if someone is committing an act of violence. You may have simply been protecting people who you care about.
Another strategy for keeping you out of custody is showing that the victim’s injury was not serious. Proving this would likely allow the charge to be dropped from a felony to a misdemeanor. Finally, claiming that the crime was an accident is an excellent defense in the court of law. You may not have even intended to make contact with the victim.
Despite what the prosecution and the police may say, you can defend yourself against aggravated battery charges. Attorney McElfresh believes the key to a successful defense is getting to know you and understanding your goals. Once she knows your side of the story, she’ll present it to the court in the best possible light. Call (858) 756-7107 today to see how McElfresh Law to discuss your case.