Assault and Battery
California's Penal Code 240 assault defines an offense in which an individual injures or attempts to injure another individual. Penal Code 242 defines battery as an unlawful and willful touching of another individual which is offensive or harmful. Battery is also referred to in the state as assault & battery; while no physical contact is necessary for an individual to be accused of assault, a person has automatically assaulted someone when accused of battery, as you cannot commit the willful act of battery without the element of attempting to injure the victim.
At The Justice Firm, our Los Angeles assault and battery lawyers provide clients accused of this crime with unsurpassed legal representation. If you have been arrested or charged with inflicting bodily injury in a willful manner upon someone else which resulted in a serious or traumatic injury, it is critical you obtain legal guidance at once. This type of offense may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the facts of your particular case. In addition, you may be charged with aggravated battery which is a more serious charge if a deadly weapon was used in the assault, or serious bodily injury resulted to another person.Assault & Battery in California
Every individual accused of a criminal offense, regardless of the seriousness of the crime, is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In order for the prosecution to prove assault and battery was committed, he or she must prove three elements which include:
You acted willfully You used violence or force The violent or forceful act was inflicted upon another person
Here is a simple example of the difference between assault, and assault and battery:
Two individuals engage in a verbal argument while in close proximity to each other. One of the individuals attempts to punch the other, but misses. A skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney would argue that due to the fact no physical contact actually occurred, his client committed assault. However, if one of the individuals actually punched the other and makes contact, the crime of assault and battery is supported because physical contact was made.
In either situation it is critical to discuss your case with a seasoned defense attorney.Criminal Penalties for Assault & Battery in Los Angeles County
The penalties for assault and battery depend on whether you are charged with simple battery pursuant to Penal Code 242 PC, or aggravated battery pursuant to Penal Code 243 (d) PC.
Penalties for simple battery include:
- Fine of up to $2,000
- Summary (informal) probation up to 3 years
- Up to six months in jail
- Successful completion of batterer's program and/or community service
Penalties for aggravated battery include:
- Maximum of one year in county jail when the victim did not sustain serious bodily injury
- Two, three, or four years in prison if the victim suffers serious bodily injury (charged as a felony)
- Formal probation if charged with a felony
- Potential "strike" on your record under the California Three Strikes Law
If you have been charged with battery in California, your reputation, freedom, and career are at stake. At The Justice Firm, we work diligently to protect your reputation and fight against a conviction and the resulting criminal penalties. We will diligently review your case in order to detect any potential weaknesses in the prosecutor's case or errors made by law enforcement to ensure justice is served. Contact us immediately at (310)914-2444 for a free consultation regarding your assault and battery case.