Navigating the complexities of California assault laws in the penal code can be extremely complicated. There are several different classifications of assault under the California penal code, each with its own definition and unique potential sentence. Depending on who the alleged victim is in an assault and battery case will have a direct impact on how your case is charged and prosecuted. If it is a child or a spouse who is the alleged victim of physical abuse, you can be rest assured that the district attorney’s office will prosecute the case with a vengence.
A battery charge can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the severity of the act. In addition to a felony battery charge there are even more severe enhancements that prosecutors like to use. Great bodily injury (GBI) charge is a considered a “strike”. You want to avoid this charge/enhancement at all cost.
Simple Assault – Laws & Penalties
Simple assault is a misdemeanor and defined as an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another. This means that no injury or even contact has to have taken place for this offense to have occurred.
This misdemeanor offense can carry a sentence of up to $1,000 in fines and jail time of up to 6 months.
Simple Assault – California Penal Code Section 240-241
Simple Battery - Laws & Penalties
Simple battery can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, a determination that is made by the judge. It is defined as any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon another person.
This offense has a potential sentence of up to $2,000 and jail time up to 6 months.
Simple Battery California Penal Code Section 242-243
Assault with a Deadly Weapon - Laws & Penalties
Assault with a deadly weapon, other than a firearm, is considered a felony in the states of California. It is punishable by up to 4 years in state prison and fines up to $10,000.
You may be charged with this serious felony if the court believes you assaulted another person with a deadly weapon other than a firearm in a manner likely to produce great bodily harm,
Assault with a Deadly Weapon (not a firearm)California Penal Code Section 245
Assault with a Firearm
Unlike “assault with a deadly weapon”, assault with a firearm does not have to be committed “in a manner likely to produce bodily harm”. The mere possession of the firearm in the commission of an assault is enough to elevate the potential sentence in this crime.
This offense is also a felony that carries a potential $10,000 fine and 4 year prison term.
Assault with a Firearm: California Penal Code Section 244
Contact THE LAW OFFICES OF CASTILLO & ASSOCIATES for a free case evaluation for help in determining what you are up against, and what we can to do help you.