What is Assault and Battery?
The term assault has been repeatedly used and some may even confuse it with battery. While these two often go together, it is to be noted that they are quite different from each other. Assault is defined by the California Penal Code s.240 as an “unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another”.
Battery, on the other hand, is legally defined in the California Penal Code s.242 as “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another”. To make it short, battery is the completion of assault since physical harm or force has already taken place.
Learn more about assault and battery, what penalties you stand to face, and how an assault and battery attorney can help you.
What are the Penalties for Assault and Battery?
Assault and battery can be charged as either a simple or aggravated case.
A simple assault charge is treated as a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in county jail, $1000 fine, probation, plus restitution to the victim.
On the other hand, battery can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the nature of the alleged offense. As a misdemeanor, battery is punishable by six months in county jail and a $2,000 fine.
For a felony battery conviction, the maximum penalty is three years in prison, a fine of $2,000 to $10,000, probation, and restitution to the victims.
Note that penalties and sentencing for a convicted offender may vary depending on the severity of the crime, aggravating circumstances, and the criminal history of the defendant.
What are the Common Defenses Used in Assault and Battery?
The common defenses used in assault and battery include self-defense, defense of others, consent, and defense of property.
- Self-Defense: The most common defense used in assault and battery cases is self-defense. The defendant must show that there was a threat or unlawful force against them, there was a perceived harm, and there was no way to escape the imminent threat.
- Defense of Others: This kind of defense is starkly similar to the first, only it is to defend another person whom the defendant perceives is under threat of being a victim to assault and battery.
- Consent: Consent is an available defense in assault and battery charges, meaning that if an individual has given consent to an act then it cannot count as assault and battery. These are closely evaluated by courts and such harmful behaviors, even with permission, are still punishable under assault and battery laws.
- Defense of Property: This can be used as a defense in situations wherein one’s property is being illegally withheld from them.
Call our Assault and Battery Attorney Now!
Assault and battery are serious cases that can pose grave punishments when convicted. Regardless, if you are facing charges for assault and battery, know that it is within your rights to have an attorney.
Enlist the help of a criminal defense lawyer from the Law Offices of Andrew Sosa. An assault and battery attorney with over two decades of experience can inform you of your rights, represent and defend you in court, and ensure that you get the best possible outcome for your cause.