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Los Angeles Battery Attorney

Facing battery charges can be extremely stressful because of the serious ramifications a conviction may have on your life and liberty. At The Law Office of John Goalwin, we understand your situation.  

With over 45 years of experience in criminal defense, our firm stands ready to defend your rights and work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Choosing The Law Office of John Goalwin for your battery defense means opting for a legal team that combines aggressive and creative defense tactics with a proven track record of success in battery cases.  

Our legal strategy begins with a thorough review of the charges and evidence against you. We carefully evaluate your case, gather facts, and examine the prosecution's arguments to craft a defense strategy tailored to your specific situation. By focusing on the details, we can identify weaknesses in the prosecution's case and use them to your benefit. 

Our skilled team also offers bilingual legal support in English and Spanish, ensuring clear and reliable communication throughout your time with us. Set up a free consultation by contacting our Los Angeles law firm today.

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Types of Battery Cases We Handle 

Our battery defense attorney is equipped to handle a wide range of battery cases, including but not limited to: 

Simple Battery 

Simple battery, as defined under California law, is the intentional, unlawful physical contact or use of force against another person. Unlike aggravated battery, which involves serious bodily injury, simple battery does not require the victim to be injured for charges to be filed. It only necessitates that the defendant made physical contact in a harmful or offensive manner without the victim's consent. 

Under California Penal Code 242, simple battery is considered a misdemeanor offense. Those convicted can face penalties including, but not limited to, up to six months in jail, fines of up to $1,000, or both.  

Defendants may also be subjected to probation, community service, and mandatory anger management classes. 

It's important to note that while simple battery might seem like a less severe charge compared to other violent crimes, it can still have significant consequences, including a criminal record. In certain circumstances, such as when the battery is committed against a public official, police officer, or domestic partner, the charges and penalties can be more severe. 

Aggravated Battery 

Aggravated battery, a more severe form of battery under California law, is categorized by causing serious bodily injury to another person. This type of battery goes beyond simple physical contact or force; it specifically involves an act that results in a significant physical injury, potentially requiring medical attention or causing substantial impairment of physical condition. Defined under California Penal Code 243(d), aggravated battery is charged when the battery causes serious bodily harm, whether it was intentional or a result of reckless actions. 

In California, aggravated battery can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the injuries, the defendant's criminal history, and the specific circumstances surrounding the incident.  

If convicted as a misdemeanor, the penalties may include up to one year in county jail and/or a fine of $1,000.  

As a felony, the consequences are far more severe, with potential imprisonment of two, three, or four years in jail (plus another three to six years if the victim suffered substantial bodily injuries) and/or a fine of $10,000. 

Key factors influencing the severity of charges and penalties include the defendant's intent, the means used to commit the battery (such as using a weapon), and the vulnerability of the victim (e.g., if the victim was elderly or pregnant).  

Aggravated battery charges require a comprehensive defense due to their serious nature and the significant impact a conviction can have on one's life. 

Battery Against Public Officials 

In California, battery against public officials is considered a very serious offense due to the protective status granted to individuals serving in these roles. Public officials include, but are not limited to, police officers, firefighters, EMTs, judges, elected officials, and any other government employees performing their duties.  

Under California Penal Code sections 242 and 243, battery against a public official is treated with heightened severity to safeguard those who serve the public and maintain societal order. 

The law stipulates stricter penalties for battery charges when the victim is identified as a public official performing their official duties or if the battery is committed as a result of the victim's role as a public official. This includes situations where no bodily injury has occurred, acknowledging the importance of maintaining respect and safety for those in public service positions. 

Convictions for battery against public officials can lead to elevated consequences, including longer jail sentences and larger fines when compared to simple battery charges. For instance, a battery charge against a regular citizen might be treated as a misdemeanor with the potential for jail time of up to six months, whereas battery against a public official can extend the jail time significantly, sometimes even leading to felony charges depending on the circumstances like the use of a weapon or the infliction of serious bodily harm. 

Furthermore, these charges can have additional ramifications beyond legal penalties. Individuals convicted may face difficulties in employment, especially in public sector jobs, and carry a stigma that affects personal and professional relationships.  

Domestic Battery 

Domestic battery, also referred to under California law as spousal battery or domestic violence battery, involves the use of force or violence against an intimate partner—a spouse, cohabitant, fiancé, someone with whom the accused has had a dating relationship, or the parent of the accused's child.  

California Penal Code section 243(e)(1) specifically addresses domestic battery, distinguishing it from generic battery charges by focusing on the relationship between the accused and the victim. 

In the state of California, domestic battery is categorized as a misdemeanor. The penalties for a conviction can include fines of up to $2,000 and/or six months in jail. The court may also issue a protective order against the defendant, limiting their contact with the victim. 

It's crucial to note that for a charge of domestic battery to be prosecuted, it's not necessary for the victim to have visible injuries or need medical attention. The mere act of using force or violence against an intimate partner qualifies for charges under this section, even if the physical contact was seemingly minor or did not result in injury.  

This makes domestic battery a charge that can be levied with relatively little evidence of physical harm, emphasizing the law's intent to protect victims from domestic violence in its many forms. 

Given the sensitive nature of domestic battery charges, and their potential to impact custody arrangements, employment opportunities, and personal reputations, those accused benefit significantly from skilled legal representation.  

An experienced defense attorney can not only help to mitigate the legal consequences but also work to address the complex emotional and relational dynamics involved. 

Defense Strategies for Battery Charges 

In addressing battery charges, The Law Office of John Goalwin builds robust strategies tailored to the unique circumstances of each case. Our approach is comprehensive, focusing on the most effective defenses to undermine the prosecution's claims and protect our client's rights. The following are possible defense we could potentially craft based on your situation:

  • Self-Defense: This strategy is employed when the accused can demonstrate that their actions were a direct response to an immediate threat of harm. It’s vital to prove that the response was reasonable and necessary under the circumstances.  

  • Defense of Others: Similar to self-defense, this strategy applies when the accused was acting to protect another person from immediate harm. The defense must show that the intervention was justified and that any reasonable person would have acted similarly in their position. 

  • Consent: In certain situations, the alleged victim may have consented to the conduct that is otherwise considered battery. This defense requires clear evidence of consent and that it was freely given.  

  • Accidental Contact: Accidents happen, and sometimes people are charged with battery as a result. If the contact was unintentional and occurred in a situation where the accused was acting lawfully, this defense could be pivotal. 

  • Lack of Evidence: Often, the prosecution's case may lack the necessary evidence to prove a battery charge beyond a reasonable doubt. By highlighting these gaps in evidence, we aim to cast significant doubt on the prosecution's case. 

Each defense strategy requires a nuanced understanding of the law and the case's particulars.  

At The Law Office of John Goalwin, we are dedicated to conducting thorough investigations and leveraging our legal expertise to develop a defense strategy that offers the best possible outcome for our clients. From the initial consultation to the final resolution, we are committed to advocating for your rights and safeguarding your future. 

Los Angeles Battery Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one is facing battery charges, don't face them alone. Contact The Law Office of John Goalwin for the experienced advocacy you deserve. Our conversation will remain confidential as we discuss the specifics of your case and how we can assist you. Visit our Los Angeles law firm or call us today to get set up with a free consultation.