Unscrambling California Assault Laws

Many people mistakenly believe that assault and battery are the same thing when in fact they are not.  However, there are several subcategories relevant to California’s assault laws, including:

When an individual behaves deliberately in a way that could potentially result in injury to someone else, regardless of whether a victim was actually injured, it is defined as assault under California Penal Code 240.  Someone who is convicted of this type of assault may face penalties including up to $1,000 in fines, and up to six months jail time.

Battery is defined by California Penal Code 242 as a violent act or the willful application of force against another person.  If convicted of battery, penalties are the same as with assault, other than the individual may be fined up to $2,000.

Aggravated battery is defined by California Penal Code 243 as the willful appliance of violence or force against another person which results in the victim suffering grave bodily injury.  If found guilty of this offense, penalties include up to $1,000 in fines and a maximum of one year in jail.

Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon is defined by California Penal Code 245 A as the assault of another individual while using a deadly weapon.  A deadly weapon does not necessarily have to be a knife or firearm; anything that may inflict injury upon someone else including a baseball bat, crow bar, or even a fist may be considered a deadly weapon.  If convicted, the penalties include up to $10,000 in fines, a maximum of one year in jail, and enrollment/participation in a class for anger management.  The individual convicted will also be ordered to surrender the weapon used in the assault to authorities.

These penalties are not all-inclusive.  In addition to fines and jail time, defendants may face informal probation and the requirement to register in a program for batterers.

Innocent individuals are frequently accused of assault; unfortunately, many innocent people sit behind California prison bars today for crimes they did not commit.

Los Angeles assault lawyers understand the serious criminal penalties individuals who are convicted of any of the above crimes face.  While these penalties are harsh, being found guilty of any criminal offense will affect your life in other ways.  For example, your career and reputation may be ruined.

It is important that anyone accused of assault or battery take action right away to protect your future.  Consult with a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who will work to protect your legal rights, and perform a thorough review of your case to determine an effective course of legal action.


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