Penal Code 243: Serious Slavery: Summary

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Penal Code 243(d) states:
“When a battery is committed against any person and serious bodily injury is inflicted on the person, the battery is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two, three, or four years.”

Penal Code 243(d) deals with aggravated battery, which refers to an unlawful and willful use of force or act of violence that causes grievous bodily injury to another person. It refers to an act of physical contact that led to the injury. Mere words, no matter how offensive, do not constitute battery causing serious bodily injury.

In legal terms, a serious bodily injury refers to any serious impairment of a person’s physical condition. It is not necessary for the victim to seek medical attention for the injury. Serious bodily injury is different from great bodily injury, which refers to any substantial or significant physical injury that may or may not be severe or permanent, and is a valid reason for sentence enhancement. However, as the decision whether the injury is a serious bodily injury or a great bodily injury depends on the jury, defendants are advised to seek legal help and counsel if they are charged under Penal Code 243(d).

Aggravated assault is a “wobbler” offense, which means that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the facts of the case and the defendant’s

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