Even if you have never done nothing wrong in your life and believe that your altercation with another person was very minor, you can find yourself accused of simple assault. If the other person is injured in any way you could be subject to far more serious charges. If you have questions or need representation in Alameda or Contra Costa counties contact me right away. 1-510-543-0080
California assault law is covered under Penal Code 240. It defines simple assault as an attempt to commit a violent injury on someone else.
This is different from battery which is to inflict violence on another person. You can be charged with battery even if you did not injure the other party. Battery is also a misdemeanor.
You may be charged and convicted of assault if you meet four conditions.
- You did something that was likely to result in the use of force against someone else.
- You did this willfully. You were not forced into it.
- You were aware that your actions would probably lead to force being applied against another person.
- When you acted you had the ability to apply force to the other person.
California Penal Code References
Assault: Penal Code 240 California law defines an assault as “an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.”
Penalties For Assault: Penal Code 241 PC An Assault is punishable by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by both the fine and imprisonment. When the victim of the assault is a police officer, other emergency responder the fine and term of imprisonment may be longer. Link to Penal Code 241 PC for complete details.
Battery: Penal Code 242 A battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.
Penalties for Battery: Penal Code 243 Battery is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2000), or by imprisoning in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
Punishment for Assault With A Deadly Weapon: Read Penal Code 245 PC