Penal Code 242 PC Battery – Defenses

Although committing battery is a serious charge under California law, you may be able to raise viable defenses that could entirely release you from criminal liability. Consulting with a battery attorney in the early stages of investigation or upon arrest will help you to best defend your case.

If you are charged with a battery you may raise any of the following defenses, if it is applicable to your case, and can potentially avoid penalty or punishment.

Self-Defense or Defense of Others

You may raise the defense that you acted in self-defense or defense of another if you are facing a prospective battery conviction. You must show that:

Self defense as a defense to a battery charge under penal code 242 PC.

If you were simply acting in self-defense, you can not be convicted of battery under Penal Code 242 PC.

  1. You reasonably believed that you or someone else was in imminent danger of suffering bodily injury, or was in imminent danger of being touched unlawfully;
  2. You reasonably believed that the immediate use of force was necessary to defend against that danger; and
  3. You used no more force than was reasonably necessary to defend against that danger.

A mere belief that future harm may occur does not constitute “imminent danger,” regardless of how great the future harm might be. Rather, you must have a reasonable belief that you, or someone else, was in immediate danger. A battery attorney can help explain to you whether a claim of self-defense or defense of others would be available under the circumstances of your case.

Requisite Intent Under Battery Criminal Law

A battery conviction requires that you acted “willfully.” Accidental or inadvertent contact will not satisfy the requisite intent component. The prosecutor must prove that you actually had the purposeful intent to apply force to the alleged victim. Generally, this issue hinges on your “general intent” when you approached the location of the incident. Our battery attorneys at Wallin & Klarich will thoroughly scrutinize the facts of your case to determine if the requisite general intent did in fact exist.


If the alleged victim consented to the physical contact, you can bring that as a defense to the battery charge. So long as the contact was invited or welcomed, you will not be convicted of the battery charge.

Parental Right to Discipline

Under California law, you as a parent retain the right to use physical force against your child without being charged with a battery, so long as the force used is:

(i) reasonable, and

(ii) not excessive under the circumstances.

If you were within the bounds of your parental rights, you may be able to use it as a defense to a battery charge.

Wallin & Klarich Can Help

If you or a loved one is facing charges for battery it is important that you contact an experienced defense attorney immediately.

Wallin & Klarich battery lawyers Penal Code 242 PC

We will be there when you call.

With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Victorville, and West Covina Consulting with a battery attorney in the earliest stages will aid you in determining which, if any, defenses are available in your case. In certain circumstances, this may lead to a not guilty verdict.

Please contact the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich for further information at (877) 466-5245 or submit our form at the top of this page.

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