Assault and Battery Charges in California

Assault and Battery Charges in California

Jul 02

Assault and battery charges can cover a wide range of acts. Some of these acts can be considered relatively minor and result in a misdemeanor. There are also acts that are found to be extremely severe, meriting harsher penalties and a felony charge. For example, incidents that involve minor physical altercation that arise from an argument are typically considered a misdemeanor. On the other hand, the act of making threats with a handgun is commonly understood as something more serious and could constitute to a felony charge.

Under California law, assault is defined as an intentional attempt to physically injure another individual. Threats that make a person feel like they are in danger fall within this definition. On the other hand, battery is seen as the intentional and unlawful use of violence against another person. This includes the use of any type of force that involves physical contact. The law also delineates different ways to classify assault and battery crimes. There are 5 different assault and battery charges in California: domestic violence, sexual assault or battery, aggravated assault or battery, simple assault or battery, and motor vehicle assault.

As implied in the earlier examples, particular details will determine whether a given crime will be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. There are also cases when a crime will be considered a “wobbler.” A crime charged as a wobbler leaves room for the prosecutor to use his or her discretion when pursuing the case. A person convicted with simple assault could face up to six months in jail, additional six months of probation, and a $1000 fine. Meanwhile, a simple battery conviction could lead to about six months in county jail, up to six months of probation, and as $2000 fine. Penalties for more serious crimes like sexual assault or battery are much steeper, especially if the crime led to serious bodily harm. In such cases, a convicted individual could face up to 4 years in state prison, as well as formal probation.

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