"Assault" and "battery" are actually two distinct criminal offenses, but they are typically charged together when the event in question results in physical injury to the alleged victim.
What are Assault and Battery Charges?
Under California Penal Code 240 P.C., "An assault is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another." Thus, assault does not require you to actually injure, or even touch, the alleged victim. Instead, assault can simply be the attempted battery of the alleged victim. This is known as "Simple Assault", which is charged as a misdemeanor.
Under California Penal Code 242 P.C., "A battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another." Battery requires the actual harmful or offensive contact with the alleged victim. This is known as "Simple Battery", which is charged as a misdemeanor.
Both of these charges are misdemeanors. However, you can be charged with a felony under California Penal Code 243(d) P.C. for Aggravated Assault if you allegedly caused the victim serious injury. Otherwise, because Aggravated Assault is a "wobbler" offense, the District Attorney's Office has the discretion to charge it as a misdemeanor, depending on the facts and your criminal record.
What are Examples of Assault and Battery crimes?
Examples of Assault and Battery situations include the following:
What Does the Prosecutor Need to Prove for a Simple Assault Charge?
To prove that you are guilty of Assault and Battery under California Penal Code 240 P.C., the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements (as required by the Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions CALCRIM 915):
What Does the Prosecutor Need to Prove for a Simple Battery Charge?
To prove that you are guilty of Simple Battery under California Penal Code 242 P.C., the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements (as required by the Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions CALCRIM 960):
What Does the Prosecutor Need to Prove for an Aggravated Battery Charge (Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury)?
To prove that you are guilty of Aggravated Battery under California Penal Code 243(d) P.C., the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements (as required by the Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions CALCRIM 925):
What Happens If I am Convicted of an Assault and Battery Charge?
If you are convicted of Assault and Battery under California Penal Code 245(a)(1) P.C., you face the following punishment (excluding any sentencing enhancements):
What are My Possible Defenses to Charges of Simple Assault, Simple Battery, and Aggravated Battery?
Assault and Battery cases can often be resolved during the investigation stage even before criminal charges are actually filed. Specifically, a highly experienced and skilled Los Angeles County Assault and Battery attorney like Ninaz Saffari might be able to convince the investigating detective to not refer the case to the District Attorney's Office for prosecution, or to convince the D.A.'s Office not to file charges if the case has already been referred. These are called Pre-Files, which Ms. Saffari has a great deal of experience in successfully negotiating. See her Case Results.
If you are charged with Simple Assault, Simple Battery or Aggravated Battery, Ms. Saffari will first conduct a thorough investigation, often with the help of her private investigator, to ascertain all relevant facts. Again, if possible, she will attempt to get the charges dismissed either before or shortly after they are filed. If she takes the case to trial, she will often use an expert witness, and will argue that the alleged harm never occurred, did not occur to the degree claimed, occurred but was the result of an accident or unintentional conduct, or that the District Attorney has otherwise failed to provide enough evidence to meet the high threshold to prove Assault and Battery.
The following are the possible defenses to Charges of Simple Assault, Simple Battery, and Aggravated Battery:
What Kind of Assault and Battery Cases Has Ninaz Saffari Defended?
Since 2005, Ninaz Saffari has successfully represented hundreds of clients (adults and juveniles) against Assault and Battery charges, including both as felonies and misdemeanors.
If you or a loved one are currently being investigated or prosecuted for this crime, it is critical that you immediately hire a highly skilled, aggressive and experienced Los Angeles County Assault and Battery criminal defense attorney like Ninaz Saffari. Contact the Saffari Law Firm, P.C. now for a free telephone consultation. If Ms. Saffari believes she can help you, she will immediately schedule a free in-person meeting or, if you are in custody, she will visit you in jail (again, for free and with no obligation to hire her).
Representing All Of Los Angeles County including:
Downtown Criminal Courts Building
Van Nuys Courthouse
San Fernando Courthouse
Long Beach Courthouse