Criminal Law

950. Battery Against a Juror

The defendant is charged [in Count ______] with battery against a juror.

To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:

1. The defendant was a party to a case for which a jury had been selected;

2. <insert name> had been sworn as a juror [or alternate juror] to decide that case;


3. The defendant willfully [and unlawfully] touched <insert name> in a harmful or offensive manner(;/.)

<Give element 4 when instructing on self-defense or defense of another.>


4. The defendant did not act (in self-defense/ [or] in defense of someone else).]

Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose. It is not required that he or she intend to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage.

The slightest touching can be enough to commit a battery if it is done in a rude or angry way. Making contact with another person, including through his or her clothing, is enough. The touching does not have to cause pain or injury of any kind.

[The touching can be done indirectly by causing an object [or someone else] to touch the other person.]

[The touching may have taken place either while the case was pending or after it was concluded.]

Bench Notes

Instructional Duty

The court has a sua sponte duty to give an instruction defining the elements of the crime.

If there is sufficient evidence of self-defense or defense of another, the court has a sua sponte duty to instruct on the defense. Give bracketed element 4, the bracketed words "and unlawfully" in element 3, and any appropriate defense instructions. (See CALCRIM Nos. 3470-3477.)

Give the final bracketed paragraph on touching if indirect touching is an issue.


Elements. Pen. Code, §§ 242, 243.7; see People v. Martinez (1970) 3 Cal.App.3d 886, 889 [83 Cal.Rptr. 914] [harmful or offensive touching].

Willful Defined. Pen. Code, § 7(1); People v. Lara (1996) 44 Cal.App.4th 102, 107 [51 Cal.Rptr.2d 402].

Least Touching. People v. Myers (1998) 61 Cal.App.4th 328, 335 [71 Cal.Rptr.2d 518] [citing People v. Rocha (1971) 3 Cal.3d 893, 899-900, fn. 12 [92 Cal.Rptr. 172, 479 P.2d 372]].

Secondary Sources

1 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Crimes Against the Person, §§ 12-14, 71.

6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 142, Crimes Against the Person, § 142.12 (Matthew Bender).

Lesser Included Offenses

Assault. Pen. Code, § 240.

Battery. Pen. Code, § 242.


Unlike other statutes penalizing battery on a particular person, Penal Code section 243.7 does not state that the defendant must have known that the person assaulted was a juror. Thus, the committee has not included knowledge among the elements.

(New January 2006)