According to Penal Code section 240, assault is a misdemeanor offense that involves an unlawful act and the opportunity to commit a violent act against another person that leads to injury. Although people usually think that assault and battery are the same, they are not. Assaulting someone does not require that you physically touch them, but battery does. Assault is sometimes called attempted battery and creates a situation where someone can reasonably assume that battery is imminent. Again, it is possible to assault someone without physically touching them. Battery, on the other hand, is a physical act that actually causes someone harm. Both assault and battery are misdemeanor charges, but there are times when those lesser charges can be escalated to felony charges. This is why it is critical to have a lawyer on your side whenever criminal charges are brought against you.
When you commit assault or assault and battery against someone, you run the risk of having your charges escalated from a misdemeanor to a felony. If you are accused of assault or battery, it’s imperative to seek legal counsel. The type of charges you face are also determined by the amount of injury the victim sustains. Typically, if you are found guilty of assault or battery, there is the potential to face a year in jail and a significant fine.
Depending on the situation, charges can be escalated if you assault or batter the following workers:
- Police officer
- Emergency technician
- Process server
- Code enforcement officer
- Rescue member or first responder
- Physician or nurse engaged in emergency medical care
- Traffic officer
- Animal control official
- School employee engaged in work
- Armed Forces member
There are also times when the location of an assault and battery incident can affect the penalties and fines. If you commit assault and battery in a park or on school grounds, then you can face immediate jail time as well as a hefty fine. Similarly, if you commit assault and battery on a public transportation provider, you can face significantly enhanced penalties and fines.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Assault and battery with a deadly weapon or with force that is likely to produce great bodily injury can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on outside factors and the overall situation. If you are accused of assault and battery at the felony level, it is a much more serious offense that can result in a prison sentence and heavy fines.
Please contact us for more information.