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What is the conquence of this battery case in California?

Berkeley, CA |

I got a punch from a floor mate in my APT, while we were playing video game. He just punched me after he kept loosing in the video game (I still don't even know why he punched me. According to two witness, he was drunk.) The result of the examination from the hospital was my skin below my left eye was cut (a doctor put a special glue on the injury part instead of stitch), my nose was partially broken (a doctor said it is functionally ok, but cosmetically damaged.)
I did file a police report with my sufficient evidence one week after it happened. It's been two weeks, but I haven't received any of response. Can this case possibly be dismissed without any notification? What's the procedure of this simple battery case? Should I also buy an attorney once the procedure take place?

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Attorney answers 4


You have two legal issues:

1 - the criminal prosecution. You can call the DA's office and ask what the status of the case is. Two weeks isn't very long and it's not surprising you haven't heard anything. I would suggest you call them first thing Monday morning and ask to speak to their victim advocate's office. Be sure they know the extent of your injuries - it could have a significant impact on the filing of charges, etc. Don't just put in one call - make sure you get a person's name and a way to reach them. Ask them to get back to you ASAP with information about the case and what's going on with it.

2 - a potential civil lawsuit. Although restitution for any financial damages you're out of pocket are part of any criminal case upon a conviction, you are certainly entitled to pursue a civil suit against your assailant. You'll need to find a personal injury attorney in your area who's willing to take on the case. If you have facial injuries and a deformity to your nose as a result of this incident, your damages are fairly substantial and it's worth discussing with a personal injury attorney to protect your rights and get adequate compensation for this case.


In legal terms, a battery is defined as the “the actual intentional striking of someone, with intent to harm.” There is no doubt he committed a battery and your witnesses will help you prove it.

The DA's office has probably not even received the police report yet. Once they do, they will review it and make a decision whether to file criminal charges. You must call them and let them know what you want; it will make an impact on their decision.

You only need to hire an attorney if you plant o pursue a civil case.


You need to file a lawsuit within 2 years of the accident. Go to an attorney today if possible and have them assist you in filing complaint. If you want to be your own attorney, you can just have the attorney draft the complaint and have it filed on time. Keep in mind, it takes at least one year for the case to come to trial, so you should be able to evaluate the case and try to get it settled. If your injuries are serious, you may just want to have the attorney handle the case.


My collegues all did an excellent job at responding to your question. I would just add that most or all counties in CA have a victim/witness program. You can contact them for help paying your medical bills.

Adam Sorrells
Chico Injury Attorney

Disclaimer: The following was not legal advice, and cannot be relied on. For informational purposes only.

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