Criminal Battery Defenses

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What is Criminal Battery?

Criminal battery is defined as the unlawful application of physical force to another person’s body, which results in harmful or “offensive” touching.  Generally speaking, the defendant must have intended for the contact to occur; that is, unintentional or accidental contact will not constitute criminal battery charges. 

Note that battery charges don’t always have to involve a malicious or violent attitude; most statutes also include offensive touching when defining the elements of proof for battery.  Battery is usually a misdemeanor charge, resulting in criminal fines and jail sentence of up to one year.  Aggravated battery (i.e., battery with a deadly weapon, or battery on a woman, child, or police officer) can result in felony charges.

What are Some Criminal Battery Defenses?

While battery is a serious criminal offense, there are certain situations when a person can claim a defense to the charges.  These can include:  

Also, defense of property can sometimes be a defense for battery charges.  However, deadly force can’t really be used to defend one’s property, unless the intruder has first used or threatened to use deadly force.  Some states and jurisdictions may list other types of defenses.

How are Criminal Battery Defenses Proven?

Criminal battery defenses can be proved through a number of different evidentiary devices and methods.  These can include:

Criminal battery laws are one area of law that can vary widely from place to place.  Different regions may enforce different standards, especially when it comes to legal theories such as self-defense or defense of one’s property. 

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Criminal Battery Defenses?

Because criminal battery defense laws can be so different in each area, it’s in your best interest to hire a criminal defense lawyer if you need help defending against criminal battery charges.  Your attorney can assist you by researching the criminal statutes in your area and by examining all the evidence related to your case.  A qualified lawyer can also inform you as to your legal options in terms of having the charges dropped or the sentences reduced.

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Last Modified: 07-14-2014 11:19 AM PDT

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