Saturday, April 12, 2008

Battery charge: How do you define it?

Recently I accepted a translation job at the municipal court for a Chinese who cannot speak English. After the "arrest," eyewitnesses were contacted and the police officers wrote reports about the incident. My client needed to appear in court because of an alleged battery charge in January this year.

Some witnesses "heard" them fight and saw him pull his sister aside in a public place. They were totally surprised as to why he was charged battery even though his sister did not want to press charges against him and said that he never hit her. I read some information posted by some Los Angeles Criminal Attorneys California DUI Felony Misdemeanor Lawyers that charges will not be dropped simply because the individuals who called the police or are involved do not want to prosecute because the police and the prosecutor's office will take into account a variety of reasons including the fear to proceed with a prosecution.

I was told to explain to him that battery is probably defined differently in the United States. According to the criminal code, battery is "the unlawful, intentional touching or application of force to the person of another, when done in a rude, insolent or angry manner." He said the definition is ridiculous and there is a difference of culture between Americans and Chinese. He said they were just talking loudly and arguing. There may be, but unfortunately the judge did not buy that and still ruled him guilty.

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