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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 20401
Experience:  Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law
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I was arrested for simple battery. I attempted to park in a

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I was arrested for simple battery. I attempted to park in a street parking space and 2 people were standing in the street holding the spot for someone. I told them several times to move but they wouldn't. I then got out of my car, gave them a final attempt at asking them to move, and when they refused I pushed them out of the way. No harm intended, I did not push them hard more like escorting them but I did make physical contact. It was a male and a female each weighing about 1/2 my weight. They did not stumble, fall, or get hurt in any way. I did not even push them all the way to the curb. Is this really battery and if so, how should I plea?

Thank you for the information and your question. Unfortunately what you described is indeed a battery under California law. There need only be a touching that is harmful or offensive. The slightest touch is sufficient for a battery if it is done in a (1) rude, (2) angry, or (3) disrespectful manner. There are defenses, but your situation does not support a defense under the law. You can read much more about the charge and what the prosecutor has to prove by going to:

That said, I would highly recommend that you hire a criminal defense attorney to assist you in this case. The reason I say that is that if you are convicted it is a misdemeanor criminal conviction and can affect your job prospects, etc. In addition, your attorney can help you at least obtain a better sentence even if you do plead guilty. They might be able to get you in a pretrial diversion program that if you complete it successfully could result in a dismissal of the charges. If you cannot afford an attorney, you can ask the court to appoint you a public defender and if you qualify financially, they will do that.

Please let me know if you have any related follow up questions. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What about the fact that they were committing a crime at the time?

Hello again and thank you for your reply. Even if they were committing a crime, which is arguably not the case, this would not be the basis for a defense to a battery. The defenses, which you can read more about that the link I provided, are: self-defense, defense of others, an accident, consent, and a parental right to discipline children. It is never legal to use self-help in a situation like this. Calling the police in a situation like this or finding another parking place are the legal options.

I can certainly understand your frustration and I have been in similar situations where I wished I could use self-help, but the law does not allow someone to touch someone else without their permission in this manner. That said, what they were doing could "mitigate" the punishment. In other words, the court would consider the situation in deciding on punishment.

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