What Is the Difference Between Assault and Battery in California? | Crowell Law Offices

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What Is the Difference Between Assault and Battery in California?

Many people believe that assault and battery are interchangeable crimes because they’re often charged together. However, the state of California classifies assault and battery as two separate convictions. Both assault and battery can result in significant penalties, so if you’re charged with one or both of these crimes, it’s important to fight your charges and work to get them reduced or dismissed.

At Crowell Law Offices, we’re familiar with California’s criminal laws and can use our experience to defend your case in court. A Sacramento violent crime lawyer from our team will investigate your arrest and use evidence to weaken the prosecution’s argument.

Penalties for Assault

The state of California defines assault as, “an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.” Someone can be charged with assault even if they don’t actually follow through with a violent crime. As long as they attempted to injure someone and had the ability to injure them, they committed assault under the law.

When convicted of simple assault, a defendant can face up to six months in jail and may have to pay up to $1000 in fines. Assault with a deadly weapon can result in a misdemeanor or felony conviction and may result in up to one year in jail or between two and four years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Penalties for Battery

The state of California defines battery as “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.” Essentially, assault is attempted violence; battery is the violence itself. Often, assault and battery are charged together when a defendant attempts to injure someone and succeeds.

Battery is a misdemeanor that may result in up to $2,000 in fines and up to six months in jail. Aggravated battery that results in serious bodily injury can be escalated to a felony charge and more serious fines and prison time.

Contact a Sacramento Violent Crime Attorney

If you’re being accused of assault or battery, you likely need an experienced attorney to defend you in court. To discuss your case with a Sacramento violent crime lawyer from Crowell Law Offices, fill out the contact form below or call 916-303-2800 to schedule a free consultation.