How Is Assault And Battery Defined In California?

Assault and battery are two different charges. However, most people think it’s either one charge or that you must commit one before you can commit the other but they are actually two separate charges. The definition of assault is “some type of threat to exert force.” Battery is the actual exertion of that force. You can commit an assault without committing a battery and likewise, you can commit a battery without first committing an assault or making a threat.

How Is An Assault And Battery Charge Determined To Be Either A Misdemeanor Or A Felony?

A simple assault or a simple battery is an instance where there is not significant injury or where no deadly weapon is used or there is no amount of great bodily harm. Basically, both charges are going to depend upon the extent of the injuries. Obviously in an assault case, there are no injuries, so it’s going to be judged by the extent of the assault. If someone says, “I am going to bomb the Dodgers stadium,” that is obviously far more significant and serious than the individual who says, “I am going to punch you in the nose.”

What Is A Wobbler Charge In California?

A Wobbler doesn’t only apply to assault and battery cases; it applies to numerous penal code sections. A Wobbler charge is a charge or crime that can be charged by the prosecutor either as a misdemeanor or as a felony. In other words, as with the previous example, the extent of the threat or injuries is going to dictate what the prosecutor decides to file; whether they decide to file it as a misdemeanor or a felony.

Does The Intent Of The Alleged Perpetrator Impact The Criminal Charges?

Yes. In fact it’s critical because if Trump says to Hillary that he is “going to get her,” there is really very little likelihood that anyone’s going to see that as a real assault. However, if Trump stood over Hillary with a bat and said, “I’m going to get you”, it’s certainly going to be more likely that he has the intent to commit the crime. The intent is important not only with assault but also with battery. If there is an accidental touching and there is no intent to harm the other individual, then a battery could be argued that it was not committed.

What Is Considered A Deadly Weapon? How Does It Enhance Assault And Battery Charges?

First of all, it’s called an enhancement or a type of additional punishment which is added to the original charge that enhances that charge only it is a felony. Secondly, a deadly weapon can be any type of instrument depending upon how it’s used. A shoe can be used as a deadly weapon if it’s used in such a fashion that it causes significant injuries. A vehicle can also be used as a deadly weapon. Again, it depends on the context and extent of the injuries.

How Does The Degree Of Injury Suffered Impact The Actual Criminal Charge?

We have talked about it in a couple of ways. One, in the Wobbler sense. If it is a significant injury, then although the prosecutor has the option to file it as a misdemeanor or a felony, if the injuries are significant, the prosecutor is going to file it as a felony. If an individual gets a slap on the face, that’s going to be more likely be filed as a misdemeanor than someone who has hit someone else’s head with a baseball bat.

Does A Victim Need To Have Actual Physical Injuries For Assault And Battery Charges To Be Made?

In an assault charge it’s the threat of the injury versus the actual injury. In a battery, there does have to be some touching, whether or not that touching causes injuries is, again, going to depend upon the severity of the punishment. But the actual touching is completion of the crime.

Is Self-Defense A Viable Defense To An Assault And Battery Charge?

The most frequently used defense is self-defense. The reason being that in most situations, there will be some type of altercation and the issue arises as to who caused the original altercation. Both parties’ actions are considered into the equation. Self-defense therefore becomes the most critical defense available.

For more information on Assault & Battery In California, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (310) 277-1707 today.


Get your questions answered - call me for your free, 20 min phone consultation (310) 277-1707.

Related Articles

Related Topics

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Disclaimer: The felony, misdemeanor, traffic, criminal defense, drunk driving, DUI, theft, drugs, three strikes law, juvenile law, or other legal criminal defense information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results portrayed here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ if based on different facts.