Call Us 24/7 Text Us

The Consequences of a Battery Conviction in California

The Consequences of a Battery Conviction in California

The Consequences of a Battery Conviction in California

Battery, in legal terms, refers to any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.

In California, a battery conviction can carry serious consequences, affecting not just the immediate situation but potentially impacting your life for years to come. It's wise to understand these implications, whether seeking legal guidance or simply wishing to be informed about the law.

Here, we'll explore the key consequences of a battery conviction in California in a way that's easy to understand, aiming to educate and provide insight into this legal issue. If you are facing charges, immediately discuss the situation with a California, Los Angeles battery defense attorney.

Schedule A Free Consultation

What Are the Criminal Penalties for Battery?

In court, a solemn defense or plaintiff attorney addresses the audience during trial.

Simple battery (PC 242) is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and/or $2,000.

Aggravated battery causing serious bodily injury (PC 243 (d)) is a wobbler, meaning authorities can charge it as a misdemeanor or a felony. It carries up to one year in jail and/or $1,000 as a misdemeanor. As a felony, it carries two, three, or four years in jail (plus three to six years if the victim suffers great bodily injury) and/or up to $10,000.

The battery on a peace or police officer (PC 243 (b) & (c)) and the battery on a school employee (PC 243.6) are also wobblers. If there is no injury, they are misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail and/or $2,000. If an injury requires medical treatment, it can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. As felonies, they carry 16 months, two years, or three years in jail (or two, three, or four years if the victim sustains great bodily injury) and/or up to $10,000.

Domestic battery (PC 243 (e) (1)) is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and/or $2,000. You may also have to complete a batterer's intervention program and abide by a restraining order.

Sexual battery (PC 243.4) is another wobbler. As a misdemeanor, it carries up to six months in jail (or one year if there was an aggravating factor) and/or $2,000 (or $3,000 if the victim was your employee) plus Tier I sex offender registration for ten years. As a felony, it carries two, three, or four years in prison (or an extra three to five years if the victim was seriously hurt) and/or up to $10,000 plus Tier III sex offender registration for life (usually).

Due to these potentially severe penalties, the representation of a California criminal defense lawyer is critical.


If convicted of battery in California, you may be required to pay restitution to the victim in addition to fines and jail time. Restitution means reimbursing the victim for any costs related to the battery, such as medical bills or property damage.

Restitution is a right for victims of crime in California, and the court must order you to pay the full restitution to the victim unless the victim agrees otherwise. The court determines the amount of restitution based on the evidence and arguments from both sides.

If ordered as a condition of probation or parole, restitution typically becomes your responsibility; failing to pay it may result in additional penalties. Restitution is a way of holding you accountable for the harm you caused to the victim and helping the victim recover from the battery.


A dimly lit prison cell under the cover of night.

Probation is a common alternative to jail time for people convicted of battery in California. Probation allows people to stay out of jail as long as they follow certain rules and obligations imposed by the court.

These may include:

  • Paying fines and restitution to the victim
  • Completing a batterer's treatment program or domestic violence class
  • Attending a different counseling program or anger management program
  • Performing community service or labor
  • Avoiding contact with the victim or other specified persons
  • Not possessing or using any weapons
  • Not committing any new crimes or violating any laws
  • Reporting to a probation officer regularly (for formal probation) or as instructed (for informal probation)
  • Submitting to drug or alcohol testing if required
  • Appearing in court for progress reports or probation violation hearings if required

The length and terms of probation depend on the type and severity of the battery, the defendant's criminal history, and the judge's discretion. Probation can last from one to five years or longer in some cases.

Probation can be formal or informal, also known as summary probation. Formal probation requires more supervision and reporting to a probation officer, while informal probation is less restrictive and does not involve a probation officer.

Probation is not a free pass. If a person on probation fails to comply with any of the conditions, they can face serious consequences, such as:

  • Revocation of probation and reinstatement of the original jail sentence
  • Extension or modification of probation with additional or stricter conditions
  • Imposition of additional jail time or fines
  • Filing of new criminal charges for probation violation

The probation officer, the victim, the police, or anyone aware of the violation can report a probation violation. The court will then hold a probation violation hearing, where the prosecution must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant violated probation.

The defendant has the right to be represented by a lawyer, to present evidence and witnesses, and to cross-examine the prosecution's witnesses. The judge will decide whether to revoke, modify, or continue the probation.

Probation gives the defendant a chance to rehabilitate and avoid jail time while protecting the victim and the public. However, probation also comes with many responsibilities and risks. If you have questions about probation or your rights as a defendant, consult a criminal defense lawyer right away.

What is the Impact of a Battery Conviction on Your Employment?

A battery conviction can have negative consequences for your employment prospects in California. According to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), employers cannot inquire about an individual's criminal record until they extend a conditional job offer.

However, once they do, they can conduct a background check and rescind the offer if they find out you have a battery conviction unless they can show that the conviction is job-related and consistent with business necessity.

Some factors that employers may consider when deciding whether to hire someone with a battery conviction are:

  • The nature and gravity of the offense
  • The time that has passed since the offense and/or completion of the sentence
  • The nature of the job sought

For example, suppose you are applying for a job that involves working with children, elderly, or vulnerable populations. In that case, an employer may be more likely to reject you if you have a battery conviction, as they may perceive you as a potential threat to their safety and well-being.

Similarly, suppose you are applying for a job that requires handling confidential or sensitive information. In that case, an employer may be more likely to reject you if you have a battery conviction, as they may question your trustworthiness and integrity.

Even if you get hired, a battery conviction can still affect your employment in other ways. For instance, you may face discrimination or harassment from coworkers or supervisors who know about your criminal record. You may also have difficulty getting promoted, transferred, or obtaining professional licenses or certifications.

Additionally, you may lose your job if your employer finds out that you lied or omitted your battery conviction on your application or resume.

A battery conviction can stay on your criminal record permanently unless you are eligible for expungement or sealing.

Expungement is a legal process that allows you to petition the court to dismiss your conviction and release you from the penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense.

Sealing is a legal process that allows you to petition the court to seal your arrest and court records, making them inaccessible to the public. Both expungement and sealing can aid you in improving your employment opportunities, prohibiting employers from using any information related to your expunged or sealed criminal history in making employment decisions.

However, expungement and sealing are unavailable for everyone and have certain limitations. For example, you can only delete a misdemeanor battery conviction if you have completed probation and have not been charged with or convicted of another offense. You can only seal a battery arrest record if you can prove that you are factually innocent of the offense.

Also, expungement and sealing do not erase your criminal record, as they are still visible to certain government agencies, such as law enforcement, immigration, and licensing boards.

Therefore, if you are facing a battery charge or have a battery conviction in California, you must consult a criminal defense attorney who can advise you on your rights and options. A defense lawyer can support you in fighting the charge, negotiating a plea deal, applying for expungement or sealing, or seeking other forms of relief that can minimize the impact of your criminal record on your employment.

What is the Impact of a Battery Conviction on Your Education and Licenses?

A battery conviction can affect your education and licensing opportunities in California.

Revealing a college student's criminal record can significantly impact their future career prospects.

Some colleges and universities may ask you to disclose your criminal history on your application or during admission. They may use this information to evaluate your character, suitability, and potential risk to the campus community.

Depending on the type and severity of the battery, the time elapsed since the conviction, and the nature of the program you are applying for, a battery conviction may result in denial of admission, revocation of admission, or imposition of additional conditions or requirements.

Similarly, some licensing boards and agencies may require you to disclose your criminal history when applying for a professional license or certification. They may use this information to determine your fitness, honesty, and competence to practice in the profession.

Depending on the type and severity of the battery, the time elapsed since the conviction, and the relevance of the offense to the profession, a battery conviction may result in denial of license, suspension or revocation of license, or imposition of additional restrictions or limitations.

Some examples of professions that may be affected by a battery conviction in California are:

  • Teachers and educators
  • Healthcare providers and practitioners
  • Lawyers and legal professionals
  • Accountants and financial professionals
  • Engineers and architects
  • Real estate agents and brokers
  • Security guards and private investigators
  • Cosmetologists and barbers
  • Contractors and builders

A battery conviction can also affect your eligibility for financial aid, scholarships, grants, and other forms of educational assistance. Some federal, state, and private programs may have specific criteria or restrictions regarding applicants with criminal records.

You might need to provide additional documentation or explanations of your conviction, potentially leading to disqualification from certain types of aid or funding.

A battery conviction can have long-lasting consequences for your education and licensing goals in California. However, you may have some options to overcome these barriers, such as expunging or sealing your record, obtaining a certificate of rehabilitation or pardon, or appealing or challenging the decision of the college or licensing board.

If you have any questions about your rights and options, consult a lawyer or legal advocate who can advise you based on your situation.

Will a Battery Conviction Appear on My Criminal Record?

 Utilize bold, professional fonts and imagery that represent security and protection. Include sections for personal details, coverage options, and terms.

A battery conviction will appear on your criminal record, which can have long-lasting effects on your ability to lead a normal life. This record can influence your rights, such as owning a firearm, and it can also affect your eligibility for certain government benefits or programs.

Some of the specific consequences of having a battery conviction on your criminal record are:

  • Employment Challenges: Many employers conduct background checks and may be reluctant to hire someone with a violent criminal record. A battery conviction can limit your career options and opportunities, especially in fields that require state licenses or security clearance.
  • Housing Difficulties: A criminal record can also make it harder to find suitable housing, as many landlords and property managers screen potential tenants for criminal history. A battery conviction can reduce your chances of getting approved for rental applications or public housing assistance.
  • Firearms Restrictions: Under federal and state laws, a battery conviction can prohibit you from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition. This can affect your right to self-defense and your ability to enjoy recreational activities involving firearms.
  • Immigration Issues: If you are not a citizen of the United States, a battery conviction can have serious implications for your immigration status. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may face deportation, removal, or denial of naturalization or citizenship.

Before you plead guilty to any battery charges, ensure your California criminal defense attorney advises you of all possible implications of a conviction.

Impact on Personal Relationships

Personal relationships can also suffer as a result of a battery conviction. The stigma of a criminal conviction might strain family ties and friendships, impacting social support networks.

Some of the ways that a battery conviction can affect your relationships are:

  • Domestic Violence Allegations: A battery conviction can make you vulnerable to accusations of domestic violence from your current or former intimate partners, spouses, cohabitants, or the parents of your children. Domestic violence charges can result in more severe penalties, such as restraining orders, custody issues, or enhanced sentences.
  • Social Isolation: A battery conviction can isolate you from your social circles and community. You may face discrimination, rejection, or judgment from people who know about your criminal record. You may also have difficulty making new friends or finding romantic partners willing to accept your past.
  • Emotional Distress: A battery conviction can also affect your mental and emotional health. You may experience guilt, shame, anger, depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem as a result of your criminal record. You may also struggle with coping skills, stress management, or substance abuse issues.

Contact a California Criminal Defense Lawyer Now


While the consequences of a battery conviction in California are steep, it's important to remember that you can take steps to mitigate these impacts. Legal representation can guide you to potentially reduce the severity of the penalties.

Additionally, there may be opportunities for expungement or sealing criminal records, which can alleviate some long-term burdens.

If you or someone you know is facing charges, consult a California criminal defense lawyer for legal guidance tailored to your situation.

Schedule A Free Consultation

Contact Us Now

Call 844 325-1444 or complete this form. Most form responses within 5-10 minutes during the day and 15-30 minutes during evenings.

100% Secure & Confidential