At around 5 pm, deputies received a report about a disturbance on the 24700 block Chestnut Street. During the deputies’ initial investigation, they learned that the suspect lived on the same street as the victim. According to reports, the suspect confronted the victim and accused him of touching the side mirror on his vehicle. The suspect then began punching the victim several times in the face. The suspect was arrested on suspicion of battery and taken to the Santa Clarita Sheriff Station where he underwent booking and processing.
California Penal Code 242 PC describes the crime of battery as any willful and unlawful use of force on another individual. Generally, battery is charged as a misdemeanor and carries the possible sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of $2,000. The term “battery,” when used in a legal context, often conjures up the mental image of a victim being savagely beaten. Quite to the contrary, it’s possible to be charged and convicted of battery even if you didn’t injure anyone. The only thing that matters is that you touched the person in an offensive way.
Battery, in the media, is often referred to as “assault and battery,” when in fact they are two separate crimes. Assault is covered under California Penal Code 240 PC and is described as an unlawful attempt, in concert with the present ability to commit a violent injury on the person of another.
The difference between the two crimes lies in what the defendant does (or doesn’t) do to the victim. For example, if a man gets angry at his neighbor and misses when he tries to throw a punch, he would most likely be charged with assault because he had the present ability to inflict injury, but was unable to do so. An example of a case of battery would be a man angrily grabbing his wife by her upper arm and trying to stop her from leaving him. Since the man in this case actually made contact with the woman in a way that was offensive, he would likely be eligible for battery charges.