First Time Assault And Battery Charge California

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Acting Unwillfully Or Without Proper Intent

Victim of assault & battery? Hit back with a lawsuit!

In order to be charged with assault, you must act willfully and with the intent of applying force on another person even if that force is simply unlawful touching. There are any number of reasons why this situation may occur, or why your actions may be misinterpreted by the alleged victim.

For Example: Its rush hour, and the Omnitrans bus is packed. Stephen tries to find a seat, but unfortunately the bus is packed. So, Stephen grabs onto a rail and stands for the duration of the ride, along with a dozen other people. An animal runs in front of the bus, and the driver slams on the brakes. The bus lurches, causing Stephen to stumble. In his attempt to make sure he doesnt fall, he instinctively reaches out his hand, unfortunately grabbing a woman on the shoulder.

While the woman may think he was touching her inappropriately, Stephen would be able to use the defense of not acting willfully. He was simply trying to make sure he didnt fall, and didnt have the intent of touching her.

What Is The Definition Of Pc 242 Battery

California Penal Code 242 PC defines battery as:

  • “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.”

In essence, battery is a completed assault. The statute’s requirement that the force be willful eliminates accidental trauma, such as a vehicle-pedestrian collision.

The statute’s requirement that the force be unlawful protects police officers who must apprehend suspects, mental-health workers who must restrain the mentally disabled, and others who have the legal right or duty to use force against another.

That right would include a right of self-defense or the defense of another, as long as the force did not unreasonably exceed the threat.

Penal Code 242 PC makes a simple battery a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and up to $2,000.

California Penal Code 245 A: Assault With A Deadly Weapon

An assault is an attempt to injure or harm someone else. When a person attempts an assault with a deadly weapon, sentencing is increased. A deadly weapon could include a knife, gun, or some object that would cause significant harm to the targeted individual someone.

Prosecutors can charge ADW as a serious misdemeanor or as a felony. The crime of assault with a deadly weapon is always a felony if it is committed against a police officer or if certain firearms or other weapons are used to commit the crime.

The penalties for ADW include:

  • Up to one year in jail,
  • Up to $10,000 in fines, and
  • Confiscation of weapons
  • 2 or 4 years in prison,
  • Up to $10,000 in fines, and
  • Confiscation of weapons
  • Additionally, the judge may order offenders to enroll in anger management classes, participate in community service, and pay victim restitution.

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    Pc 245 Assault With Deadly Weapon

    Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm.

    California Penal Code 245 Assault with a Deadly Weapon is a serious crime, and can be charged as a California misdemeanor or felony. The prosecutor will make a decision to file a PC 245 charge as a misdemeanor or felony based upon the type of weapon used, whether the alleged victim was injured, and the seriousness of that injury. The criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Natalio Pereira are very experienced in defending against PC 245 charges here in Orange County. Read more aboutPC 245.

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    Review of Assault and Battery Charges Under California Penal Code 240 and 242 PC

    California Penal Code 242 PC defines the crime of battery as a willful and unlawful use of force against another person. The victim does not have to sustain an injury and the primary element of the crime is that a defendant touched someone in an offensive manner.

    California Penal Code 240 defines the crime of assault as an unlawful attempt to use force or violence on another person.

    As you can see, in spite or most people using the term assault and battery together, they are actually two separate crimes:

    • PC 240 assault is conduct that might inflict harm to a victim
    • PC 242 battery is someone inflicting actual force or violence.

    Assault and battery are two ancient and still-common violent crimes.

    Crimes of violence tend to begin with assault, continue with battery, and sometimes end with worse, such as murder.

    Assault charges and battery charges are basic tools of law enforcement and frequent prosecutions in the criminal justice system.

    As stated, although the layperson may think of assault and battery as a single crime, assault and battery are two distinct crimes that often, but not always, occur together.

    Tort claims

    To make matters slightly more confusing, assault and battery are also tort claims, meaning claims that a victim may make in the civil courts for compensation from the wrongdoer.

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    Defenses Against Assault And Battery Charges

    Facing charges of assault and battery can be upsetting and life-changing. It is also a situation that is easy for people to inadvertently end up in after drinking too much alcohol or being in the wrong social situation at the wrong time. However, a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can help you fight these charges with a variety of possible defenses.

    Assault And Battery Charges Can Carry Heavy Penalties

    Even simple assault and battery can result in penalties that land an offender behind bars for a significant chunk of time. However, these are the minimum charges with which you may be faced. Both assault and battery can be charged as more serious crimes for a variety of reasons.

    Two of the main factors that can elevate a charge are the level of damage done and whether a weapon was used in committing the crime. Aggravated assault and battery charges could result in years in prison.

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    What If You Unintentionally Batter Someone

    This is important: If you bump against somebody accidentally or even accidentally hit another person with a bulky package or object that youre trying to carry, if its unintentional, it is not battery.

    Nevertheless, it may be considered an act of negligence, and if someone is injured in that manner, you might find yourself on the wrong end of a civil personal injury lawsuit.

    Overview Of California Assault And Battery Law

    Assault Charges: Will I go to jail for a first offense assault?

    While “assault and battery” is a commonly-heard phrase, assault and battery are separate crimes. As in other states, California assault and battery laws are found in criminal as well as civil law . The elements of both civil assault and civil battery are very similar to the elements of criminal assault and battery discussed in more detail below.

    California’s assault and battery laws can be found in Chapter 9 of the California Penal Code.

    The California Penal Code defines assault as an “unlawful attempt” to cause a “violent injury on the person of another” — assault is often described as an attempt to commit a battery. A prosecutor must show that the defendant intended to commit a battery and had the “present ability” to do so, but does not need to show that physical contact actually happened.

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    Importance Of Hiring A Los Angeles California Criminal Lawyer To Defend You Against Assault And Battery Charges

    Kanye can and should seek the advice of a criminal lawyer in this matter. As with Kanye, if a person is arrested for assault in California whether it be in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego or Riverside County, they should first seek the consultation of an experienced criminal Southern California defense attorney to get the best outcome in their criminal case.

    I Have Never Been In Trouble Before So Am I Eligible To Participate Some Type Of A First

    Some counties have first offender programs for certain types of offenses. However, they are generally for less serious crimes. If you have been charged with a first misdemeanor assault or battery offense, it is entirely possible to negotiate a charge or even a dismissal with the completion of an anger management program, community service and/or fines. For more serious offenses, consult us for a free consultation regarding a range of defenses and plea options. Generally speaking, it is always possible to negotiate a better charge by providing strong character evidence and employment history etc.

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    Can The Victim Of Assault And Battery File A Civil Lawsuit

    Victims of battery have the right to sue the perpetrator for damages such as

    • medical bills and

    It is not necessary that the defendant be found guilty in a criminal trial or even charged with a crime. In fact, someone who has been found not guilty of battery in a jury trial can still be sued for damages and lose.

    This is because civil trials do not require proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The plaintiff simply needs to prove a battery by a preponderance of the evidence.

    A preponderance of the evidence means it is more likely than not that the defendant battered the plaintiff. It is a much lower standard of proof than that required in order to convict someone of a crime.

    To prove liability for battery, the plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that:

  • The defendant touched the plaintiff with the intent to harm or offend him or her
  • The plaintiff did not consent to the touching
  • The plaintiff was harmed or offended by the defendants conduct and
  • A reasonable person in the plaintiffs situation would have been offended by the touching.43
  • For more information, please see our article on Lawsuits for Assault and Battery in California, or contact our California personal injury lawyers for a consultation to discuss your case.

    Can Assault And Battery Charges Be Expunged In California

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    Misdemeanor assault and battery charges can be expunged upon successful completion of probation provided that you meet the other criteria for expungement under Penal Code Section 1203.4. Certain felonies can be reduced to misdemeanors under California Penal Code Section 17 if you were not sentenced to state prison. Further, they can also be dismissed pursuant to CPC 1203.4 if you have finished your probation and/or jail time.

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    Understanding The Difference Between Battery And Assault In California

    Posted by William Aron|Aug 16, 2021

    A common misconception criminal law pertains to assault and battery. Many individuals believe that assault and battery are interchangeable crimes because theyre often charged together. However, its important to note that the state of California actually classifies assault and battery as two separate convictions. Its crucial, in this case, that you understand the difference if youve been arrested for either or both crimes. After all, both assault and battery can result in significant penalties, and the defense strategy you and your lawyer put together will entirely depend on the crime with which youve been charged.

    In a nutshell, assault occurs when a person commits an act that puts a victim in reasonable apprehension of harmful or offensive contact. Battery, on the other hand, occurs when someone commits an act that actually inflicts harmful or offensive contact on the victim. In this blog, we help you understand a more detailed definition of each crime, how theyre distinct, and some of the common misunderstandings you need to know based on California law. Heres a breakdown.

    How To Bring Your Case To Its Best Possible Outcome

    But if thats not possible, in most cases, and especially if you are innocent, you should insist on a trial by jury. In some cases, however, if the evidence against you is persuasive and a conviction is certain, your defense attorney may be able to negotiate an acceptable plea deal.

    In every assault or battery case, the right California defense lawyer will bring the case to its best possible conclusion. If you are charged with assault, battery, or any crime of violence in the Los Angeles area, you must have good legal help. That is your right.

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    Penalties For Battery In California

    The basic penalties for simple battery charged as a misdemeanor include:

    • up to six months in county jail
    • fine up to $2000, and
    • probation up to six months.

    The enhanced penalty for other battery offenses includes:

    • up to one year in county jail
    • fine up to $2000, and
    • probation up to one year.

    Penalties for wobbler batteries charged as a felony include:

    • sixteen months or two or three years to be served in the county jail or state prison, depending on the offender’s criminal history and pending criminal charges
    • a fine up to $2000 and
    • probation up to three years.

    Ability To Apply Force

    The Difference Between Assault & Battery | Oakland Assault and Battery Lawyers

    Assault charges are most common in close-quarter interactions. Further, force does not necessarily mean an action that would result in injury. Any kind of offensive touching can be construed as assault. If the touching of any kind is done in a rude or offensive manner, it can be considered assault.

    For Example: Kat is out at a bar after yet another failed relationship. After having a few drinks, she decides to try her luck again by hitting on Sarah, who is sitting at the bar. She buys Sarah a drink, and they start talking. However, Sarah is not interested in Kat, and makes that pretty clear. As Kat drinks more and more, she loses her inhibition and starts petting Sarahs arm and leg anyway.

    Sarah, clearly uncomfortable with Kats advances, moves away from her. However, Kats actions are done, and Sarah has every right to file assault charges against her. In fact, Kat could be charged with sexual assault under California Penal Code 243.4.

    Another Example: Chris decides to go tailgating before the big game on Sunday. He and his buds are enjoying a few burgers in the parking lot when obnoxious fans of the opposing team come up and start jeering them. Chris stands up to confront them and throws a punch at the leader. However, Chris has bad aim and misses the fan altogether. Nonetheless, Chris could now be charged with assault, as he had the physical capability and the intent to harm the other fan.

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    How To File Assault Charges With The Police Department In California

    Filing an assault charge with the police department in California is a relatively straightforward process. You can dial 911 or contact your local law enforcement office. They will dispatch an officer to you who will take your statement and the statement of any witnesses who may have seen the attack take place. The officer will then take those statements back to the office, prepare a written police report, and investigate the case against your assailant. As the person who filed the claim, you can request a copy of the police report after it is finished.

    If you want to pursue civil litigation against the person who allegedly assaulted you, you will need the services of an attorney. This attorney can review your medical and police records and help represent you when your case is heard by a judge or jury.

    As a trusted San Francisco criminal defense attorney, I have extensive experience representing individuals who have been impacted by violent crimes like assault in California, including those whose situations involve domestic violence. In addition to helping you pursue civil or criminal charges, I am also equipped to help you obtain a restraining order if you are in need of protection.

    If you are ready to begin building a strong case against your assailant and obtain the results you desire, please contact my Southern California law firm immediately. Together, well begin laying the foundation for a better and brighter future.

    A Strong Defense For Serious Charges

    Facing charges of assault and battery can extremely nerve-wracking. You are likely wondering how your words or actions could have led to your arrest or how you are going to beat your charges. First, remember that you are innocent until proven guilty under the law and that the burden of proof is on the prosecution. That means the district attorney handling your case must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed a crime under California law.

    If you work with Law Office of Michael L. Guisti, our lead attorney can thoroughly investigate your case, review evidence, and speak to witnesses to build a detailed defense, which can include:

    • You did not act willfully: All assault and battery charges must be based on the defendant acted willfully, meaning that you cannot be charged if the victim suffered an injury through an accident.
    • Reasonable threat: With assault charges, the victim must reasonably believe that the defendant could have harmed them. Your attorney can convince the jury that you were unlikely to follow through on the threat or that you were incapable of following through on it.
    • Self-defense: It is entirely possible for a victim of battery to be charged with the crime even when they were defending themselves. However, your attorney can employ Californiaâs self-defense laws and argue that you were acting to defend yourself or others from harm, such as by citing your defensive wounds or witness testimony.

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    What Are The Punishments For Assault With A Deadly Weapon

    A conviction for assaulting someone with a deadly weapon may be penalized as follows:

    1. If the crime is prosecuted as a misdemeanor, and the deadly weapon was not a firearm, a conviction may be punished with a year in a California county jail and a $1,000 fine.

    2. If an assault with a lethal weapon that is a firearm is prosecuted as a misdemeanor, a conviction may be punished with a mandatory minimum term of six months in a California county jail.

    3. If the crime is prosecuted as a misdemeanor, and the deadly weapon wasnt a firearm, a conviction may be punished with as much as a four-year term in a California state prison and a $10,000 fine.

    Assaults with semiautomatic weapons are always charged as felonies punishable by as much as a nine-year term in a state prison. Using a machine gun or an assault weapon can extend the sentence to twelve years in prison.

    If a California law enforcement officer or a California firefighter in the performance of his or her professional duties becomes the victim of an assault with a lethal weapon, a felony will be charged, and the penalties may be even more severe.

    The defendants previous criminal history, if any, will also be considered.

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