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Name: In re D.W.
Case #: A141217
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 04/28/2015

True finding that minor battered a peace officer causing injury reversed for lack of proof that the battery caused an injury as that term is defined in Penal Code section 243, subdivision (c). The minor was in custody for previous offenses when he was found in possession of a dirk. He spit in the eye of an officer who tried to take the dirk. It was alleged the minor committed a battery on a peace officer causing injury (Pen. Code, § 243, subd. (c)) and possession of a dirk. The court sustained the allegations and he appealed. Held: Battery on officer reversed. Section 243, subdivision (c) prohibits battery on a peace officer engaged in performing his duties when the battery causes injury. An “injury” within that section is any physical injury which requires professional medical treatment. The test applied is an objective one which considers the nature, extent, and seriousness of the injury, not the officer’s inclination or disinclination to seek treatment. Here, the officer underwent a series of tests over a number of months to make sure the minor did not infect him with a communicable disease. While the officer testified his eye was red and irritated as a result of the incident, he experienced no pain and received no medical treatment for the irritation. The testimony was insufficient to establish he suffered an injury that required professional medical treatment.

The juvenile court did not abuse its discretion by permitting the prosecution to amend the petition to allege the battery with injury charge. The prosecution had initially charged the minor with battery by gassing upon a peace officer (Pen. Code, § 243.9) but sought to amend the petition to charge the battery with injury because it believed that juvenile hall was not a “local detention facility” under section 243.9. The minor objected, claiming denial of due process. However, the minor was given adequate written notice of the proposed amendment and accorded additional time to prepare his defense to the new charge, which was based on the same conduct as the battery by gassing. [Editor’s Note: In re A.M. (2014) 225 Cal.App.4th 1075, found a juvenile hall is a local detention facility under section 243.9.]