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San Diego Criminal Lawyer

Resisting Arrest - Battery of a Police Officer

California Penal Code 243(b)

 

Definition of Battery of a Peace Officer

 

Battery of a Peace Office under Cal Penal Code section 243(b) is the willful use of force or violence against a:

* Police Officer

* Firefighter

* Emergency Medical Technician

* Uniformed Military, or

* Other Government Employee serving in a capacity as a peace officer.

 

The willfull use of force or violence does not have to be qualified in degrees.  It is a common human emotion to flinch or recoil when a person places their hands on you. Because any amount of force, no matter how slight, can constitute a battery on a peace officer, you often see this charge levied against persons who are simply fearful of the physical contact of a police office, and by flincing, they accidentally make contact with that office. 

 

If you are charged with resisting arrest, or battery of a peace officer, you should call an experienced San Diego criminal lawyer before your arraignment.  These charges are often bogus, and an experienced San Diego crimina lawyer may be able to pursuade a district attorney to not file any charges at all.  

 

 

 

Examples of behavior that could lead to a battery charge under PC 243(b) are:

 

  • Resisting a lawful arrest by intentionally pushing, kicking, or otherwise striking an officer. 

 

  • While protesting, throwing an object that strikes a police officer, even if the object hits a protective shield. 

 

  • If an officer is trying to break up a fight, and a person strikes the officer, though intending to strike another person, that could be a battery of a peace officer. 

 

Punishment for Battery of a Peace Officer:

 

The penalty for Battery may be different depending on a person's prior history and parole status.  The penalty for a first time offender convicted of Battery is a misdemeanor, puishable by up to one year in jail, or a fine of up to $2,000, or some combination of both. 

 

 

To prove that you are guilty of Battery of a Peace Officer, the Government must prove that:

 

1. The defendant willfully [and unlawfully] touched the officer in a harmful or offensive manner;

 

[AND]

 

2. And the defendant did not act in self-defense, the defense of another person or while reasonably disciplining a child. 

 

[AND]

 

3. The victim was a peace officer, custodial officer, firefighter, EMT, lifeguard, security officer, custody assistant, process server, traffic officer, code enforcement officer, animal control officer, or search and rescue agent in performance of their duties. 

 

[AND]

 

4. And the Defendant knows or reasonably should know that the person who is touched is a peace officer or other mentioned person.  

 

[AND]

 

5. The officer suffered injury as a result of the touching. 

 

Clarifying Instructions

 

* An injury is any physical injury that requires professional medical treatment. The question whether an injury requires such treatment cannot be answered simply by deciding whether or not a person sought or received treatment. The jury may consider those facts, but the jury must decide this question based on the nature, extent, and seriousness of the injury itself.

 

* The touching can be done indirectly by causing an object [or someone else] to touch the other person.

 

* It does not matter whether the peace officer was actually on duty at the time.

 

* A peace officer is also performing their duties if (he/she) is in a police uniform and performing the duties required of (him/her) as a peace officer and, at the same time, is working in a private capacity as a part-time or casual private security.

 

 

California Penal Code 243 PC

Punishment for Battery

243. (a) A battery is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

 

California Penal Code 243(b) (PC243(b))

Battery of a specific person (Peace office, government agent)

PC 243(b) When a battery is committed against the person of a peace officer, custodial officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, lifeguard, security officer, custody assistant, process server, traffic officer, code enforcement officer, animal control officer, or search and rescue member engaged in the performance of his or her duties, whether on or off duty, including when the peace officer is in a police uniform and is concurrently performing the duties required of him or her as a peace officer while also employed in a private capacity as a part-time or casual private security guard or patrolman, or a nonsworn employee of a probation department engaged in the performance of his or her duties, whether on or off duty, or a physician or nurse engaged in rendering emergency medical care outside a hospital, clinic, or other health care facility, and the person committing the offense knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a peace officer, custodial officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, lifeguard, security officer, custody assistant, process server, traffic officer, code enforcement officer, animal control officer, or search and rescue member engaged in the performance of his or her duties, nonsworn employee of a probation department, or a physician or nurse engaged in rendering emergency medical care, the battery is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

 

 

California Penal Code 243(c) (PC243(c))

Battery of in Performance of Duty

PC 243(c)(1) When a battery is committed against a custodial officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, lifeguard, process server, traffic officer, or animal control officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties, whether on or off duty, or a nonsworn employee of a probation department engaged in the performance of his or her duties, whether on or off duty, or a physician or nurse engaged in rendering emergency medical care outside a hospital, clinic, or other health care facility, and the person committing the offense knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a nonsworn employee of a probation department, custodial officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, lifeguard, process server, traffic officer, or animal control officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties, or a physician or nurse engaged in rendering emergency medical care, and an injury is inflicted on that victim, the battery is punishable by a fine of not more than two thousand dollars ($2,000), by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for 16 months, or two or three years.

 

PC 243(c)(2) When the battery specified in paragraph (1) is committed against a peace officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties, whether on or off duty, including when the peace officer is in a police uniform and is concurrently performing the duties required of him or her as a peace officer while also employed in a private capacity as a part-time or casual private security guard or patrolman and the person committing the offense knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a peace officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties, the battery is punishable by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for 16 months, or two or three years, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

 

California Penal Code 243(d) PC

Battery with serious bodily injury

 

PC243(d) When a battery is committed against any person and serious bodily injury is inflicted on the person, the battery is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two, three, or four years.