Assault and battery are similar crimes that cover a broad range of conduct. A simple assault (penal code 240) can come from conduct as slight as throwing a rock or swinging your fist at someone, even if you don’t actually hit that person.
Battery (penal code 242), on the other hand, requires actual use of force or violence on another person. But like assault, a simple battery can come from slight conduct, such as pushing, slapping, or even spitting on someone.
If you are charged with simple assault or battery charges in California, there may be a number of defenses your attorney can use to have your charges reduced or dismissed entirely. Occasionally, people are arrested or charged with battery when they were acting in self-defense, when the conduct or contact was accidental, or when they were within their right to use force (such a parent disciplining a child, or two people engaging in mutual combat).
If the district attorney believes your case was serious enough, they may charge you with felony assault or battery charges. These include some of the following types of crimes:
Assault with a Deadly Weapon (Penal Code 245(a)(1))
Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury (Penal Code 243(d))
Sexual Battery (Penal Code 243.4)
The penalties for the above charges can be severe, and can include serious prison or jail sentences. A skilled attorney, however, can fight to have the charges reduced or dismissed altogether. Often times, an individual may be charged with felony assault or battery when a lesser charge is more appropriate. Most felony and assault charges are what are known as “wobblers” in California. This means that they may be charged as misdemeanor OR felonies. Even if the district attorney has chosen to file your assault or battery as a felony, our attorneys can make the case that a misdemeanor is more appropriate. This means a smaller fine, less harsh terms and conditions, and (most importantly) no prison sentence.