Assault and battery are two separate crimes.
While you can be charged for both or one, the amount of jail time depends on the severity of the offense and the class of the victim.
In California, criminal assault is an act that might result in physical harm to another person.
On the other hand, the criminal battery is an act that does result in touching and usually physical harm to another person.
Additionally, if the victim is in a protected class, such as a police officer, firefighter, EMT, elderly person, or family member, you could face increased jail time.
If you have been charged with criminal assault and/or battery in California, you should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Types of Assault and Their Corresponding Punishments in California
Under California Penal Code section 240, simple assault is the unlawful threat of bodily harm to another person. For example, raising your fist toward someone’s face as if you’re going to strike them constitutes simple assault.
In California, simple assault is a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to six months in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Assault with a deadly weapon is threatening someone with serious bodily harm with a firearm, knife, or another deadly weapon.
In California, assault with a deadly weapon is classified as a “wobbler.” This means that the state can charge the crime either as a misdemeanor or a felony. The degree of the charge depends on the circumstances of your case.
A misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon charge carries a penalty of up to one year in jail
and/or a fine up to $1,000. The penalties for a felony charge are up to four years in prison
and/or a fine up to $10,000.
Types of Battery and Their Corresponding Punishments in California
Under California Penal Code section 242, simple battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence committed on another person. For example, raising your fist towards someone and actually striking them constitutes a battery.
Simple battery is a misdemeanor with a punishment of up to six months in jail
and/or a fine up to $2,000.
Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury
A battery causing serious bodily injury is a battery that results in more serious bodily injury to the victim. However, the victim’s injury does not need to be so severe that it necessarily requires medical treatment. In fact, a mere loss of consciousness is sufficient to constitute a serious bodily injury.
Battery causing serious bodily injury is classified as a “wobbler.” A misdemeanor battery causing serious bodily injury charge results in a penalty of up to one year in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000. A felony charge carries a penalty of up to four years in prison and/or up-to a $10,000 fine.
How Can a CA Criminal Defense Lawyer Help You?
If you have been charged with criminal assault and/or battery in California, hiring a criminal defense lawyer is your best chance at having your charges potentially reduced or dropped.
If applicable, an attorney can raise defenses including:
- Defense of others,
- Defense of the home, or
Additionally, a criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the complex and intimidating criminal justice system.
The experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, will do whatever we can to protect your rights, freedom, and future.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.