• Twitter Social Icon
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • LinkedIn Social Icon


Contact Us

California Assault Crimes

While assault and battery are often discussed as a singular crime, they are actually different offenses. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, you could be charged with:

Under California law, you can be charged with simple assault if there is evidence you attempted a harmful or offensive act and had the ability to follow through with it. There does not have to be evidence that you actually completed a harmful or offensive act, or that anyone got hurt. This is a midemeanor offense, punishable by up to six-months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.

If the police have evidence you attempted to hurt another person with the use of a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm, you may face two, three, or four years in prison, or up to one year in county jail, and a fine of up to $10,000. If you commit assault with a firearm, you may face two, three, or four years in prison, or between six months and one year in jail, and a fine of up to $10,000. Assault of another person with a machine gun or an assault weapon may result in imprisonment for four, eight, or 12 years.

Battery usually stirs up images of grievous injuries and savage beatings, but you can be charged and convicted if prosecutors can prove you used any force, violence, or offensive touching against another person, and there was actual physical contact or a resulting injury. All that’s required for battery is that you touched someone offensively, even if it was indirect, such as grabbing someone’s coat or throwing something at a person.
If you are accused of causing another person serious bodily injury through force or violence, then you will be charged with aggravated battery. This is another wobbler crime that can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony.

Statutory Punishments for Assault and Battery
The potential statutory punishments for an assault or battery offense will depend on the exact charge. A misdemeanor offense is punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a few thousand dollars in fines. However, a felony assault or battery offense can lead to multiple years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. You could also be ordered to complete community service, undergo counseling or addiction treatment if alcohol or drugs were involved, pay restitution, and/or adhere to the limitations of probation.

Collateral Consequences
If you are convicted of an assault or battery offense, you must also anticipate additional consequences beyond the statutory punishments. A criminal conviction can have a profound impact on your life. Typical collateral consequences include:

A permanent criminal record, depending on the details of your case.
Loss of the right to own a firearm
Difficulties obtaining a job, apartment, student financial aid, professional license, visa, permanent residency, or citizenship
Modifications to your child custody or visitation arrangement