There are many types of battery offenses. Simple battery requires the prosecutor to prove the accused willfully and unlawfully touched another person in a harmful or offensive manner, and the accused did not act in self-defense or in defense of another. The slightest touching can be enough to commit battery if done in a rude or angry manner. Making contact with another person, including through his or her clothing is enough, and the touching does not have to cause pain or injury. Simple battery is a misdemeanor, however, battery which results in the infliction of serious bodily injury can be charged as a felony.
Self-defense or defense of someone else is a common defense to the crime of battery. The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused did not act in self defense or in defense of someone else. To prevail on this defense, the accused must reasonably believe that he or she or someone else was in imminent danger of suffering bodily injury or was in imminent danger of being touched unlawfully, and he or she reasonably believed that the immediate use of force was necessary to defend against that danger. However, the accused cannot use any more force than was reasonably necessary to defend against the danger. If the accused's belief were reasonable, the danger does not need to have actually existed. Although words no matter how offensive and acts that are not threatening are not enough to justify an assault, self-defense may still succeed if the accused was threatened with immediate harm or great bodily injury.
If you are charged with a battery of any type, contact the Law Offices of H.A. Sala.