Battery with Serious Bodily Injury PC 243(d)
Under California Penal Code section 243(d), aggravated battery is battery with “serious bodily injury”. To prove you are guilty of this offense, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following: 1) you touched the person of another; 2) you did so willfully; 3) you did so in a harmful or offensive manner; and 4) your target suffered serious bodily injury as a result.
What is “serious bodily injury”?
For the prosecution to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of a 243(d), he or she must prove—also beyond a reasonable doubt—that the alleged victim suffered serious bodily injury. A “serious bodily injury” does not require that the victim seek medical attention or treatment for the injury. All that is required is that the victim suffered an impairment of a physical condition. Common injuries that are considered “serious bodily injuries” include broken bones or bone fractures, loss of consciousness, loss or impairment of a function of any bodily organ, wounds requiring stitches, and disfigurement.
It is common for a battery with serious bodily injury to be one punch to the face if that person suffers a broken nose, cracked jaw, etc.
Whether an injury is considered a serious bodily injury is a matter of interpretation for the trier of fact, such as the injury. Even if an injury falls under any of the above-entitled categories, the trier of fact might not necessarily find that it is serious. Prior to opening the Law Offices of Mark Deniz, Attorney Mark Deniz was a Deputy District Attorney for almost 10 years with an intimate knowledge of the various consequences a conviction may cause. Mark Deniz will aggressively defend your case by exploring every angle and argument to ensure you have the best defense possible. Contact the Law Offices of Mark Deniz at 858-751-4384 to get the ball rolling.
Aggravated Battery with “Great Bodily Injury”
If the injuries rise to the level of “great bodily injury”, the prosecution might charge you with aggravated battery and allege the “great bodily injury” enhancement. Great bodily injury is a significant and substantial physical injury. Unlike serious bodily injury, it need not involve the impairment of a physical function. Generally speaking, serious bodily injury, for purposes of punishment and the three strikes law, is a lesser standard than great bodily injury.
Penalties for aggravated Battery
Aggravated battery under Penal Code section 243(d) is a wobbler, which means that it can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the injury, the specifics of the offense, and your criminal history. As a misdemeanor, aggravated felony subjects you to informal probation, up to one year in county jail, and a maximum fine of $1000. As a felony, aggravated battery subjects you to felony or formal probation, two (2), three (3), or (4) years in county jail, a maximum fine of $10,000.00, and /or your right to use, possess, or own a firearm in California.
If you are convicted of the “great bodily injury” sentencing enhancement for a felony aggravated battery, you will be subject to an additional three (3) to six (6) years in prison. This is consecutive to your regular sentence under PC 243(d).
Defenses for Aggravated Battery
- You acted in self defense or defense of another
You can assert self defense if you reasonably believed that you or someone else was in danger of imminent bodily harm or injury or unlawful touching, you reasonably believed that the immediate use of force was necessary to deflect the harm, and the amount and type of force that you used was no more than reasonably necessary to deflect the harm or unlawful touching.
- The touching was accidental
You can be convicted of aggravated battery even if you did not intend to harm or injure the victim. However, if you did not intend to actually touch the victim, you cannot be convicted of this charge. If the touching was accidental and not at all intentional, then you have a valid defense to a 243(d). A skilled criminal defense attorney will thoroughly examine the circumstances in which the alleged contact took place and use creative arguments and strategies to argue this defense.
- The injury did not amount to “serious bodily injury”
As discussed before, whether an injury is “serious” for purposes of 243(d) is a matter of interpretation for the fact finder. An injury that initially seems serious may not be when placed in the context of the circumstances. An alleged victim might attempt to exaggerate his or her injuries by seeking unnecessary medical attention or concocting complaints. A skilled defense attorney will closely examine the alleged injury, seek any and all medical records if medical attention was sought, and determine whether the injury resulted in an actual impairment of a bodily function. If it did not, then it does not amount to “serious bodily injury”.
If you are charged with aggravated battery, The Law Offices of Mark Deniz will examine everything—from the credibility of the alleged witnesses in your case to the exact circumstances of the alleged offense to the nature and type of the alleged injury. We will then use any useful discoveries thus obtained to relentlessly fight on your behalf. Contact the Law Offices of Mark Deniz at 858-751-4384 to get the ball rolling.