Assault and battery are among the most basic crimes. They range from simple misdemeanor assault as defined in Penal Code section 240 and simple battery as defined in section 242, to the more serious assault with a deadly weapon or by force likely to inflict great bodily injury (section 245, subdivision (a)(1) and (4)) and battery with serious bodily injury (section 243, subdivision (d)). Enhancements for the actual infliction of serious bodily injury (section 12022.7) or personal use of a firearm (sections 12022.5 and 12022.53 when applied to section 245, subdivision (a)(2) [assault with a firearm]) can potentially add many extra years in the event of a conviction. California lawmakers have also set different penalties for different types of victims such as peace officers, sports officials, jurors, and so on. It is also important to note that both assault with a deadly weapon and assault with a firearm are “strikes” within the meaning of the “Three Strikes and You're Out” law, although generally assault with a firearm is not a “violent” felony within the meaning of section 667.5 unless a personal use enhancement is also alleged. Crimes classified as “violent” felonies within the meaning of section 667.5 are generally punished more harshly than other crimes. A “violent” felony classification affects both probation eligibility and time credit calculations, among other things.
As discussed in the Domestic Violence section of my website, assault crimes are often charged in conjunction with the more commonly alleged domestic violence crimes, such as the willful infliction of corporal injury in violation of section 273.5.
Under many circumstances defenses are available to those charged with assault, including but not limited to self-defense and defense of others. For example, if a defendant reasonably believed that he, she, or someone else was in imminent danger of being injured or touched unlawfully, and the defendant reasonably believed that he or she must immediately use force to defend against the danger, and the defendant used no more force than was reasonably necessary, then the defendant acted in lawful self-defense.
If you have been charged or arrested for any type of alleged assault or battery, please call me today. I am ready to assist you.