San Diego Assault & Battery Lawyer
After being charged with assault and battery, it is essential to take the most aggressive route toward protecting your rights and freedom. At jD LAW, P.C., our San Diego criminal defense lawyer has more than 30 years of experience assisting clients who need quality representation.
Do not hesitate to contact us today at (760) 630-2000!
While the terms assault and battery are frequently used together, they are actually two separate charges in the state of California and have different meanings.
What is the difference between assault and battery?
- Assault is covered under §§ 240 to 248 in the California Penal Code. Under § 240, assault is defined as the unlawful attempt, coupled with the present ability to commit violent injury against another person. A person can be charged with assault when they have attempted to harm another, even if actual physical contact did not take place.
- Battery is covered under § 243 of the California Penal Code. Under this section, battery is defined as the willful and unlawful use of force or violence against another individual. The difference between assault and battery is that assault involves the "attempt" to injure someone, whereas battery involves making actual physical contact.
So, if you attempt to punch someone and miss, you could be facing assault charges, but if you actually punch someone you face battery charges under California law. The offense of battery involves up to $2,000 in fines or imprisonment in the county jail for up to 6 months, or both.
Under the law, simple assault is punishable by:
- Up to 6 months in county jail
- A maximum fine of $1,000
- No more than 6 months of probation
- Community service
In cases were the assault was committed against a certain individual (an elderly person or a peace officer), the penalties may be increased. If a person is convicted of a second, third, or subsequent offense, they may also face more severe consequences for the assault offense.
Under the law, battery is punishable by:
- Up to $2,000 in fines
- Imprisonment in county jail for no more than 6 months
- Potential probation and community service
- A jail sentence of up to one year when against a peace officer
If a person caused severe bodily injury to another, the charges may be elevated to a felony level. This would result in harsh penalties and sentencing. Having a prior offense on your record can also give the judge the ability to enhance the penalties you face.
Have you been accused of assault and battery in San Diego? Contact us today to find learn about all of your possible defense options and how we may be able to help your case!
San Diego Criminal Attorney James N. Dicks is qualified to defend your assault and battery case. Knowing California state and federal laws and standard court proceedings has proven invaluable for Attorney Dicks in his representation of his clients. By proving that your charge was in fact self-defense, was an accident, or was provoked, Attorney James N. Dicks may be able to help you receive alternative or reduced sentencing or get your charges dropped entirely.
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