A day in Hollywood at the premiere of Angelina Jolie’s new movie, “Maleficent,” took somewhat of a startling turn on the red carpet. Jolie and her husband, Brad Pitt, were graciously greeting and posing for fans and paparazzi as they made their way into the El Capitan Theatre.
According to CBS News, a man in the fan area jumped over a barrier onto the red carpet and rushed at Brad Pitt. Witnesses of the incident say that he was able to get close enough to hit Pitt in the face before security guards wrestled him down.1
Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Gus Villanueva identified the alleged assailant as Vitalii Sediuk. Sediuk is described as a television reporter for a Ukrainian network and known prankster. Regardless of his intentions in the act, Sediuk is in police custody on $20,000 bond and faces charges of battery, CBS News reported.
Pitt continued to greet fans and eventually made his way into the theater to enjoy his wife’s new movie. He was unharmed, but what consequences does Sediuk face if he is found guilty of battery?
California Assault and Battery (Penal Code Sections 240 and 242)
Although Brad Pitt did not suffer any major physical damage as a result of Sediuk’s alleged actions, Sediuk could be charged with battery. Even the slightest touch can lead to battery charges as long as the touch was done in an angry or offensive manner.2
According to California Penal Code Section 240, you can be found guilty of assault even if you did not physically contact or injure the alleged victim. Assault refers to an attempt to injure the victim.3
Battery is when you complete the action of assault. Typically battery includes unwarranted physical contact that is willful and unlawful, as in the alleged case of Sediuk and Pitt.4 If you make physical contact with another person in an angry or aggressive manner, you could be charged with battery.
The prosecutor needs to prove the following three things in order to find you guilty of battery under Penal Code Section 242:
- You used force or violence;
- You willfully used force or violence; and
- You used force or violence upon another person.5
The word “willfully” is the key. This means that you committed the act with the intent to injure the other person.
Consequences of Battery under California Penal Code Section 242
If you are found guilty of committing battery, you could be sentenced to up to six months in county jail and fines of up to $2,000.
You could be charged with a felony if the battery caused great bodily injury to the victim. A conviction of battery causing great bodily injury is considered a violent felony and is punishable by two, three, or four years in prison. It will also count as a strike on your criminal record under California’s Three Strikes legislation.
Call the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
Whether you are facing battery allegations or a more serious charge, the pending trial and possible consequences will surely be difficult to get through alone. A skilled attorney can help you fight these charges and obtain the best possible legal outcome in your case. You may not be involved in a case with Brad Pitt, but your case is equally important to us. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been successfully defending our clients accused of assault and battery for over 30 years.
With offices located in Orange County, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Torrance, Riverside, West Covina, Victorville, Ventura, San Diego and Sherman Oaks, Wallin & Klarich has an established reputation of providing its clients with round-the-clock support in Southern California.
Call us at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 to discuss your case. We will be there when you call.
Information retrieved from:
2. Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions 960↩
Image retrieved from:
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brad_Pitt_2013.jpg, Author: Eva Rinaldi