In California, assault charges are different than battery charges, although they are sometimes charged together as assault and battery. Battery is defined as harmful or offensive touching of another, which includes the sexual battery. Pushing or snatching something out of another person’s hand would be considered battery as long as there was contact involved. Assault, however, does not require physical contact.
For example, pretending to punch someone in the face without actually making contact with them would be considered an assault. Battery charges are more common than assault charges, and after doing this for 25 years, I would say that assault is usually more of a throwaway crime.
In other words, if someone gets in an argument with another person or does something that rises to the level of criminal activity and prosecutors want to charge them with something, then they may choose to charge them with assault.
Since assault under California Penal Code 240, is a low-grade misdemeanor, a person who has been charged with assault may be able to avoid a conviction by participating in a diversionary program, especially if they have no prior criminal record.
Are There Different Levels Of Assault And Battery Charges In California?
Assault is a straight misdemeanor that does not have different levels; the only factors that will come into play are the factual circumstances involved in the case. However, there are different levels of battery charges.
Most batteries are misdemeanor domestic violence batteries, which often result from issues involving family members or significant others. Regular batteries involve people whom the perpetrator has no familial or otherwise significant relation to, and are Penal Code Section 242 violations.
The only time a battery could be charged as a felony is if someone causes serious injury to another party, which means more than a scratch or bruise. Sometimes there are arguments over whether an incident warrants a felony or misdemeanor battery charge.
If that’s the case, then the defendant should either have their defense attorney discuss the case with the prosecutor or take the case to trial and allow a jury to decide the seriousness of the charge.
What Factors Can Enhance An Assault And Battery Charge In San Fernando Valley?
If a weapon was involved in an assault charge, then an individual will usually be charged with assault with a deadly weapon, which is a felony strike. As a result, an individual would have to serve 85 percent of the jail or prison time sentenced.
In California, there is no way to get rid of this type of strike. However, depending on the circumstances, a particular act may be deemed to have been self-defense, in which case the charge could be dismissed or lowered to a low-grade assault.
For more information on Assault & Battery Charges In California, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0940 today.