Assault in California – Penal Code Section 242

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If an individual is charged with a Penal Code 242 violation in California, it means that he or she has been charged with assault and battery. Basically, the elements of this crime mean that the accused is being alleged to have willfully and unlawfully used force or violence on another person. Even if the alleged victim was uninjured, the charges can still stick if the accused made unwanted physical contact with the victim. This leaves a lot of room for individuals to be accused of violation of this code, even if they really didn’t mean to hurt the alleged victim.Defenses of Penal Code 242 in CaliforniaSimply because one has been charged with a violation of Penal Code 242 or Assault and Battery, it doesn’t mean that the individual will be convicted. There are several reasons the charges may be dropped, and several defenses that a qualified attorney might use to help his or her client.Self-DefenseOne possible defense of Penal Code 242 is self-defense. If an individual injured another in the course of self-defense, when he or she was defending themselves against someone else, the charges can be dropped. Under California law, individuals have the right to defend themselves if they are attacked or if they feel that they are in danger. For instance, if a person comes into a house they have not been invited into, and engages in threatening activity (such as waving a weapon around or threatening the members of the household) and one of the members of the household physically restrains and injures the intruder, it would be considered self-defense. The member of the household believed that he or she and their family were in danger and therefore, acted in a physical way to prevent that danger from occurring.ConsentThis defense might be used if the alleged victim has given his or her consent to be engaged in a physical contact of some sort with the accused. For instance, if someone was injured during a contact football game that he or she was a willing participant of, they gave their consent to physical interaction with everyone else who was part of the game. Should they file charges against someone for assault and battery, the accused could most likely get those charges dismissed fairly easily with a competent attorney, since the individual filing charges gave his or her consent to the game and the physical contact.AccidentalIf the individual who was injured was injured because of an accident, the accused may have the charges dropped against him or her. One example might be if both parties were at a concert in the front where most concert goers become rowdy, and one inadvertently catches the other in the face with an elbow while cheering, it is accidental. However, the injured individual may choose to file charges. The accused can most likely get his or her charges dropped on the basis that it was not intentional, but in fact, an accident.One of the most important things someone who is accused of violating penal code 242 ‘assault and battery’ can do is contact a competent attorney. The attorney can gather details quickly and get started on the defense so that the accused person’s rights are protected.