Assault, in a legal sense, is defined in California Penal Code 240 as”an unlawful attempt, coupled with present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.”

A California Penal Code 245 assault, may be filed when an attempt to injure another is made. In other words an assault can take place even though no battery occurs. Assault is often called an “attempted battery,” while battery is often called a “completed assault”.

Such an attempt does not necessarily have to be successful in order to be considered assault. In certain cases the threat of violence, in word and behavior, may be considered grounds for a charge of assault.

Common Assault & Battery Charges in San Diego Include:

  • Assault with a Deadly Weapon
  • Aggravated Assault & Battery
  • Sexual Assault & Battery
  • Assault with Intent to Rob or Murder
  • Assault with Intent to Commit a Felony
  • Vehicular Assault
  • Assault with Intent to Commit Rape
  • Assault with Intent to Kill
  • Domestic Assault And Battery

Possible Misdemeanor Penalties for Assault:

  • Informal Probation
  • 1 year in county jail
  • $10,000 Fine
  • Victim Restitution
  • Community Service
  • Anger Management Program
  • Weapon Confiscation

Possible Felony Assault Penalties:

  • 2-4 years in state prison.
  • $10,000 fine.
  • Victim Restitution
  • Possible strike on record
  • Weapon Confiscation

How Do Prosecutors Prove that I Committed the Alleged Assault?

In order to convict you of “simple” or “misdemeanor” assault in California, the prosecutor must prove the following “elements” of the crime:

  1. That you willfully acted in a way that would likely result in the “application of force to another.
  2. That you were aware that your act would likely result in that application of force.
  3. That when you willfully acted you had the ability to follow through with the act that would cause that contact.

Possible Defenses for an Assault Include:

  • The inability to carry out the assault. A California Penal Code 240 PC assault necessarily includes a “present ability” to commit a violent injury upon another. This means that you are not guilty of assault if your act can’t be carried out.
  • Self Defense/Defense of Others: California self-defense law provides that if you have a reasonable and honest belief that you or another person is about to be seriously hurt by another, you are allowed to “reasonably” fight back.
  • Lack of Intent. If you didn’t “willfully” intend to commit a violent injury upon another, you aren’t guilty of a California “assault” under California Penal Code 240 PC.
  • Wrongfully Accused/False Allegation. Because California assault law doesn’t require an actual injury, it’s easy for people to be falsely accused of (and wrongfully arrested for) this offense.

Being arrested doesn’t mean that you’ve been charged. Just because you have a court date doesn’t mean that court date is going to move forward. If you get in contact with an attorney before the charges are filed, you can prevent harsher punishment.

To discuss your California misdemeanor assault charge or felony aggravated assault charges with an experienced San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer, call the Law Office of Peter Blair to schedule a confidential consultation at (619) 357-4977.