What is the Difference Between Battery and Aggravated Battery?

March 26, 2023

Under California law, simple battery, as defined in Penal Code 242, is the intentional use of force or violence against another person. This can include physical acts such as hitting, punching, or pushing, as well as threats of violence. Simple battery is considered a misdemeanor, and a conviction can result in a fine and/or up to six months in jail.

On the other hand, aggravated battery, as defined in Penal Code 243(d), is a more serious offense that involves the use of force or violence that causes serious bodily injury to another person. This can include injuries such as broken bones, disfigurement, or loss of consciousness. Aggravated battery is considered a “wobbler” offense, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case and the discretion of the prosecutor. A conviction for aggravated battery as a felony can result in a prison sentence of up to four years.

One key difference between simple battery and aggravated battery is the level of injury sustained by the victim. Simple battery typically involves minor injuries, such as bruises or scrapes, while aggravated battery involves more serious injuries that require medical attention. The use of a deadly weapon, such as a knife or a gun, can also elevate a simple battery charge to an aggravated battery charge.

Another difference between the two crimes is the potential consequences of a conviction. A conviction for simple battery will generally result in a less severe punishment than a conviction for aggravated battery.

It’s also important to note that in some cases, a simple battery charge can be elevated to an aggravated battery charge if certain factors are present, such as if the victim is a peace officer or if the victim is a protected person, such as an elder or child.

Attorney John D. Rogers is an Orange County criminal defense attorney. He is a board-certified criminal law specialist by the State Bar of California. His office is located in Newport Beach, CA and he represents clients throughout Southern California in state and federal matters. If you’re seeking legal representation, give the Law Offices of John D. Rogers a call to schedule a free consultation.

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