Assault and Battery

Although not generally known, assault and battery are actually two separate crimes in the state of California. Assault, pursuant to Penal Code section 240, is a misdemeanor offense and carries with it up to 6 months in county jail. It requires no actual physical touching or injury. Battery, pursuant to Penal Code section 242 is also a misdemeanor crime, carrying with it up to 6 months in jail, however, it does require an unwanted, unlawful physical touching. No injury is required for a battery charge either.

The crime of assault, however, can be filed as a felony if the circumstances warrant it. In situations where a weapon is used, the crime of assault with a deadly weapon may be alleged pursuant to Penal Code section 245(a)(1). If the weapon is a firearm, Penal Code section 245(a)(2) is usually alleged. Thus, in the example of a robbery occurring in an alley way, with the perpetrator pointing a gun at the victim, the crimes of robbery and assault with a deadly weapon may both be alleged. These charges may not only be charged as felonies, but also qualify as strike offenses, under the California Three Strikes Law. This means that you will be subject to greater punishments and penalties if you are convicted of an assault with a deadly weapon, as a felony. Even if your conviction is ultimately “expunged” from your record, the fact that it was a strike will follow you for life if you ever commit another crime in the future. Therefore, if you are charged with an assault with a deadly weapon offense, you need an experienced Murrieta criminal defense attorney to fight your case and ensure you have the best defense.

If there is no weapon, and an assault is alleged as a felony, it is usually filed as an assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, pursuant to Penal Code section 245(a)(4). Although technically, these crimes are batteries, in that there are actual unwanted, unlawful touchings, they are called assaults under the Penal Code. These are typically ‘fist fights’ or assaults using “hands and feet”, carrying with them up to 4 years in state prison. If however, great bodily injury is actually inflicted upon the victim, then an additional enhancement may be alleged pursuant to Penal Code section 12022.7. The addition of this enhancement, not only potentially adds three years or more in state prison, it also makes the assault charge a strike offense for purposes of the California Three Strikes Law. Therefore, if you are changed with the crime of assault or battery, contact an Experienced Assault and Battery Attorney today.

Call Anwar Law Offices at (951) 698-1250 if you are charged with the crime of assault or battery in San Diego, Riverside, Temecula or Murrieta. Anwar Law Offices is experienced at handing all levels of these crimes of violence, and you will need an aggressive assault and battery defense attorney to defend your rights. Contact a Temecula Criminal Defense Attorney today.