After being charged with a violent crime, such as aggravated battery, it may feel that your future is out of your hands. Trusting a capable criminal defense attorney will help set you on the path to obtain the best outcome under the circumstances. At The Law Office of Gregory H.Comings, we are prepared to attack the State’s case on your behalf. For over a decade, San Bernardino and Riverside assault defense lawyer Gregory Comings has advocated for people facing charges of battery, aggravated battery, and battery causing serious bodily injury. As a litigator, he consistently presents thoughtful and thorough legal defenses on behalf of his clients, achieving reductions and often dismissals of their criminal charges.
California Penal Code 242 defines the crime of battery as willfully touching another person in a harmful or offensive manner. This force or violence against another person can lead to varying degrees of the crime, with more serious charges falling under section 243(d), “Aggravated Battery.” If a victim suffers a “serious bodily injury” from unwanted touching, this can escalate the crime from simple battery to aggravated battery, as can the use of force with a deadly weapon.
In order for the State to get a conviction of aggravated battery, the judge or jury must make a specific finding of fact that elevates the charge from simple battery to aggravated battery. This finding of fact is based on evidence set forth by the State of an aggravating circumstance or factor that heightens the severity of the crime. Perhaps the alleged battery victim endured “serious” bodily harm, as compared to minor or moderate injuries. An injury that is “significant” or “substantial” often involves permanent disfigurement, the loss of a body part or organ, or nearly fatal injuries. Or the finder of fact may determine that aggravated battery is the appropriate charge because the defendant allegedly used a deadly weapon to commit the crime.
A strong legal defense to the charge of aggravated battery may take many forms. Self-defense may be applicable if the facts suggest that the defendant feared for their safety, or the safety of another person. If the victim consented to the defendant’s touching, a charge of battery will not be successful. Moreover, for the charge of aggravated battery, the defendant may have a valid legal defense if the victim suffered moderate injuries rather than a “serious bodily injury.”
Aggravated battery is a wobbler offense that may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Circumstances such as the severity of the victim’s injuries, the defendant's criminal history, and other factors affect the level of the charge and the penalties. If the defendant is facing a felony charge, the sentencing range may be two, three, or four years in prison, as well as a permanent “strike” on their record. Aggravated battery is a serious criminal charge, and an experienced attorney can help assess the strongest legal defenses for your particular case.
Accusations of serious offenses such as aggravated battery or assault may carry dire ramifications, including prison time, thousands of dollars in fines, and the potential loss of civil rights. As an experienced criminal defense lawyer, Gregory Comings knows how to carefully assess all of the aspects of a pending charge in order to set forth legal defenses that weaken the State’s case. While working on your behalf, we will keep you informed of the status of your case so that you know where you stand. Contact our office today to understand how we can help protect your legal rights. We proudly represent people throughout Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, including in Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Moreno Valley, Highland, Fontana, Redlands, and Temecula. We can be reached by calling (951) 686-3457 or completing our online form.