Assault and battery are often charged together but are two separate crimes. Actual physical harm is not required for there to be an assault or a battery charge.
Penal Code 240 defines assault as “an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.” In other words, assault usually means the threat of violence and the ability to act on the threat. An alleged victim may perceive that the offender is behaving in a threatening manner and fears for his or her life, but no physical contact has to occur.
When a weapon, or other deadly force is involved, the charge may be aggravated assault as defined by Penal Code 245. Aggravated assault does not require great bodily injury, only the potential of significant injury if the act had been completed. When a battery does result in great bodily injury, as defined in Penal Code 12022.7, the resulting crime may be filed as a felony, which is also considered a strike under California law.
Battery is defined by Penal Code 242 as “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.” It involves some kind of physical contact with another person without their consent, and not done in self-defense. Any level of contact with the alleged victim without his or her consent could be considered battery. Depending on the severity of any injuries and the circumstances of the case, assault and battery may be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony.
Based on the circumstances of your case, we may be able to show you acted in self-defense, or in the defense of another person. If prosecutors cannot show you acted willfully, or that the person consented to the physical contact, we may be able to have the charges dismissed.
Assault & Battery Penalties
The penalties for a misdemeanor assault conviction may include imprisonment for up to six months in the county jail and a $1000 fine. A felony aggravated assault conviction can result in imprisonment in the state prison for up to four years.
How Our Law Office Can Defend You Against Assault and Battery Charges
David A. Stein is a distinguished criminal defense attorney and trial lawyer. He has a successful track record of defending violent crime cases, getting charges dismissed or winning acquittals after jury trial.
Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty, meaning the prosecution carries the burden of proof and must establish irrefutable evidence that supports the charges brought against you. David Stein will help you understand your rights and your options under the law, assisting you and your family in dealing with the stress and uncertainty surrounding your case. Call our office today for a no-cost consultation at (949) 445-0040 or contact us confidentially online here.