What is Battery?
Battery is unlawful contact with another person. Hitting someone would be an example of battery. This differs from assault, which is typically threatening to or attempting to make unlawful contact. Having a battery conviction on your record can make it difficult to find a job. There is hope though. Many states allow you to expunge a battery offense off of your criminal record.
Our free online eligibility test will let you instantly determine whether your battery offense is eligible to be expunged.
The first step to expunging your battery offense is to take our online eligibility test. It is state specific and will tell you if your battery conviction can be expunged in the state that you were convicted. If you have a battery conviction in a state where we do not offer expungement services, please contact an attorney licensed in that state. Companies that offer expungement services that do not have licensed attorneys cannot legally give you advise on this matters and you will likely end up wasting time and money if you use them.
Why Should I Expunge My Battery Charge?
Nearly 9 out of 10 employers do background checks. Employers are usually not going to ask you about the surrounding circumstances of your battery conviction. Many employers will associate a battery with a violent nature or a bad temper. They do not take into account that the alleged victim may have started the fight, for example. Finding a job should be a lot easier once you get the battery off of you record.
Expunging that battery often means that your potential employers will not see the conviction when running a background check. You can also answer “no” when asked if you have been convicted a crime once you have the battery expunged and there is nothing else on your record. While the laws differ in each state, the underlying policy for the law is the same-to help deserving people escape the stigma caused by a criminal record so they can move on with their lives. You could be only months away from having better employment and housing opportunities through expungement of your record.
How Do I Get My Battery Record Expunged?
You have probably been asking yourself since your conviction, “how am I supposed to survive when I am labeled as a criminal.” If you have had to look for employment or housing, you have likely encountered the negative effect this label can have on you.
You will first need to look at where the offense occurred. Each state has a different expungement law. Whether you are eligible for expungement can depend things like how long ago you were convicted and what sentence you received.
Once you have know that you are eligible, you will usually need to file a motion or petition with the court where you were convicted. You must also serve the prosecutor, such as the District Attorney. The prosecutor will then be given the opportunity to object. You are often able to present evidence to the court to show that you deserve an expungement. Many courts will hold a hearing to decide whether they are going to grant your expungement application. Hiring an attorney to help you in this process can be very beneficial. An experienced attorney will get your application filed and served correctly the first time and ensure that all evidence supporting your application is presented to the court.
What Are My Chances of Having My Battery Expunged?
It is difficult to say what your chances are of having your battery conviction expunged because each case is different and each state and court are different. Battery crimes are typically in the heat-of-the-moment committed by someone who is not a habitual criminal. Because of this, courts tend to grant expungement petitions for battery when the person has gone a few years conviction free.
Definition of Battery
- is the legal term for an unlawful contact. It is often coupled with assault, which is threatened or attempted unlawful contact. Contact doesn’t necessarily need to be person-to-person. A battery can occur when someone purposefully hits someone with his or her car, for example. In California, Penal Code section 242, battery is defined as “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.” Florida Statute 784.03 defines battery as “[a]ctually and intentionally touch[ing] or strik[ing] another person against the will of the other; or [i]ntentionally causes bodily harm to another person.”
What is the Difference Between Battery and Assault?
When you hear that someone was assaulted, you often think that they were beat up. Assault, however, is when you threaten to harm someone (and you have the ability to cause them that harm) or you try to injure them, but contact does not occur (i.e. swinging your fist at someone and missing them). You would commit battery if you actually have unlawful and typically violent contact with the person.
Find out if you qualify for a record expungement by taking our free expungement eligibility test.
Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Check out our Free Expungement Information and Education page.
About The Author
Mathew Higbee is a recognized authority on criminal record clearing. He has worked on more than 2,000 expungement cases in 6 states. He successfully argued the published case of People v. McLernon which helped define California's expungement law.