James M. Crawford

What are the main assault and battery laws in California?

On Behalf of | Aug 17, 2021 | Criminal Defense

In California, there are specific laws that apply to assault and battery cases. Although many people believe that assault and battery are the same crimes, the reality is that they are two different things. California has both criminal and civil penalties for these crimes.

Assault is defined as an unlawful attempt to harm another person. The prosecution only has to show that you intended to cause harm to someone else and that you had the ability to do so. With an assault, no actual physical contact has to occur.

Battery is not the same. With a battery case, violence or force must have been used against another person. This force or violence must have been willful as well.

What are the penalties for assault in California?

The penalties for assault include:

  • A misdemeanor charge for simple assault. This comes with a maximum fine of $1,000 as well as a requirement to pay restitution to the victim. Those who commit assault may be imprisoned for up to six months in the county jail as well.

If there are aggravating circumstances, then these penalties may be increased. Your criminal history may also play a role in the penalties that you face.

What are the penalties for battery?

For battery cases, it is possible to face a misdemeanor or felony charge. For the misdemeanor:

  • You face a maximum fine of up to $1,000
  • You may be placed on probation
  • You could go to county jail for up to six months
  • You may also need to pay restitution to the victim

For felony cases:

  • You may be penalized with up to three years in a state prison or county jail
  • You may be fined between $2,000 and $10,000
  • You may be placed on probation
  • You may need to pay restitution to the victim

There are some defenses that you can use against these charges, such as if you were defending yourself or if the other person consented to an activity or act. It’s important to build a case to protect yourself if you are accused of these serious criminal acts.

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