Assault and Battery Charges

In California, simple domestic battery is a misdemeanor rather than felony charge.  However, charges can always be adjusted to include recognition of aggravating factors.  Even if you have not caused injury to another person, if you used illegal force, you can still be charged.  What is important to note is that, while the degree of injury caused can be important, so too is the fact of whether you use force that you are not legally permitted to use, since that is at the heart of such charges.  For felony charges that cannot be dismissed, we will use our expertise to increase the chance that you’ll have your charges reduced to a misdemeanor.

The term “assault and battery” is an often used term.  Moreover, many people tend to use the terms interchangeably, however, there are, in fact, slight differences in the meanings of each.  They are two different crimes.  Per California Penal Code, assault refers to an “unlawful attempt” to cause a “violent injury on the person of another.”  Whereas assault refers to an attempt, battery refers to instances in which physical contact has been made.  Violence has not only been attempted against another person, it has been made.  However, in order for a prosecutor to prevail in a court of law, he or she must demonstrate that a defendant intended to physically harm a person but more importantly, that he or she completed contact.

Battery can result in no injury, minor injury, or even “serious bodily injury.” When the latter is the result, a prosecutor can charge the allegedly responsible party with violating Section 243(d) of the California Penal Code.  When the facts of a case paint a picture of allegedly egregious behavior, such as the use of a firearm, a prosecutor can elevate charges to that of aggravated battery.  As in some other states, crimes perpetrated against individuals such as police and peace officers and emergency medical response technicians can make a person subject to additional, specific charges, as can battery incidents that happen in intimate contexts such as domestic violence, which can effect spouses, parents and children, etc.