Assault (Penal Code § 240) is a misdemeanor offense. There are generally three elements that must be proved beyond reasonable doubt for you to be convicted of assault: (1) you intentionally did something that would likely cause physical force to impact someone else; (2) that you were aware of this likely consequence; and (3) you had the ability at the time to impact that person with physical force.
Assault does not necessarily have to involve actually hitting someone, or even make physical contact with them, nor is is necessary that the othe person suffer a physical injury. An example would be throwing an object at someone: you committed an act with a likely consequence of impacting someone with physical force, you were aware of this likely consequence, and you had the actual ability to hit them (i.e., you weren’t throwing an object at them from 5,000 miles away). If they duck, so that you don’t hit them, it is still an assault. It would not, however, be a battery.
Battery (Penal Code § 242) is also a misdemeanor offense. To be convicted of battery, the prosecution must prove that (1) you applied force or used violence against someone else and (2) that you did so intentionally. Using the above example, if you threw an object at someone and the object did hit that person, you could be convicted of battery.
In addition to these basic charges, there are more specific versions of assault and battery. These include, but are not limited to, assault with a deadly weapon or with force likely to produce great bodily injury (Penal Code § 245(a)(1) and (2)), assault with a machine gun or assault weapon (Penal Code § 245(a)(3) and (b)), assault with a stun gun or less lethal weapon (Penal Code § 244.5(b)), battery with serious bodily injury (Penal Code § 243), battery against spouse, etc. (Penal Code § 243(e)(1), or sexual battery (Penal Code § 243.4).
An assault and battery charge can result in harsh legal consequences, which include jail time, large fines, and a permanent criminal record. You will need a skilled criminal defense attorney. David Elden and Victor Sherman have over eight years of combined experience — he will help you fight your charges and get the best possible outcome. David & Victor have successfully represented scores of individuals charged with Assault and Battery.
Contact David Elden & Victor Sherman today.