Law Office of Michael L. Fell
900 Roosevelt Irvine, CA 92620
(949) 585-9055

Can You Be Charged with a Felony for Punching a Person in California?

While most people would not make an argument that punching a person should not result in a consequence, it can also be argued that being charged with a felony for punching someone is excessive. Keep reading to discover situations in which you can be charged with a felony for punching a person. If you are facing charges of battery, contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 now for a free legal consultation.

Situations That Could Result in A Felony Charge of Battery for Punching Someone

There are two main situations that can result in felony charges of battery for punching someone. First, if a person punches a public servant (i.e. police officer, EMT, firefighter, etc.) then they can face felony charges. Second, if a person punches a person and cause greatly bodily harm, then they can be charged with felony battery. Note that these are still wobbler offenses, which means the prosecutor can decide to charge the case as a misdemeanor or a felony.

Defense Options for Charges of Battery

Whether the charge is a felony or a misdemeanor, there are always defense options. When it comes to battery charges, there a few. First, we may argue that you were acting in self-defense. For example, if someone was coming at you with a knife and you punched them, then this would be self-defense and you should not be convicted.

Second, we may show that you did not act willfully. In order for the prosecution to prove all elements of a battery case, they must be able to show that the act was willful. For example, if you were angry and were trying to punch a wall, but someone got in the way at the last minute, then this is not a willful action and does not meet the requirements for a conviction.

Potential Penalties for a Battery Conviction

If the charge is a misdemeanor, the maximum punishment is summary probation, up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $2,000, or any combination of these punishments. If the charge meets the felony requirements (i.e. if it was against people in specific positions such as police officer, animal control officer, firefighter, process server, EMT, paramedic, process server, security officer, lifeguard, or a medical professional providing emergency services) then the prosecutor may still charge it as a misdemeanor.

However, the punishment increases to a maximum of up to a year in jail. If it is charged as a felony, the results could be 16 months, two years, or three years in prison. If you are facing any charge of battery, then it is time to contact a criminal defense attorney who can help you. Reach out to Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation and we can assess your case and offer legal advice on the best way to proceed.