Assault and Battery

Assault and Battery

Chapter 9 of Title 8 in Part 1 of the California Penal Code is dedicated to assault and battery. While these two crimes are often used interchangeably, each term has a distinct definition and assault, and battery are completely separate criminal offenses.

California Penal Code § 240 defines as an assault as “an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another,” while a battery is defined under California Penal Code § 242 as “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.” It is entirely possible for an alleged offender to be charged with both crimes, and the consequences of a conviction can be severe.

Attorney for Assault and Battery Arrests in San Francisco

Were you arrested in Northern California for an alleged assault or battery offense? Exercising your right to remain silent after an arrest is always the best course of action. If you need legal assistance, contact [[$firm]].

Our criminal defense lawyers in San Francisco aggressively defend clients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Valley, and Coast. You can have our attorneys review your case and discuss all of your legal options as soon as you call [[$phone]] to schedule a free initial consultation.

Overview of Assault and Battery Crimes in California

  •       Which kinds of assault crimes can people be charged with?
  •       What are the different battery offenses?
  •       Where can I learn more about assault and battery in San Francisco?

Types of Assault Crimes in San Francisco County

A violation of California Penal Code § 240 is commonly referred to as “simple assault.” California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) § 915 establishes that in order to prove a person is guilty of simple assault, the prosecutor must prove that:

  •       The alleged offender did an act that by its nature would directly and probably result in the application of force to a person;
  •       The alleged offender did that act willfully;
  •       When the alleged offender acted, he or she was aware that his or hers actions would lead a reasonable person to believe that his or her acti ons would directly and probably result in the application of force to someone; and
  •       When the defendant acted, he or she had the present ability to apply force to a person.

CALCRIM § 915 also states that someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose. Proof that an alleged offender intended to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage is not required.

Simple assault is typically a misdemeanor offense, but a simple assault offense may be charged more harshly when an alleged victim is considered a protected person. An assault offense may also have higher consequences than normal when the crime is committed in a specific location. Some assault charges include:

  •       Assault on parking control officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties, California Penal Code § 241.(b);
  •       Assault on peace officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, mobile intensive care paramedic, lifeguard, process server, traffic officer, code enforcement officer, animal control officer, or search and rescue member engaged in the performance of his or her duties, or a physician or nurse engaged in rendering emergency medical care outside a hospital, clinic, or other healthcare facility, California Penal Code § 241.(c);
  •       Assault on custodial officer, California Penal Code § 241.1;
  •       Assault committed on school or park property against any person, California Penal Code § 241.2;
  •       Assault committed against any person on the property of, or on a motor vehicle of, a public transportation provider, California Penal Code § 241.3;
  •       Assault on highway worker engaged in the performance of his or her duties, California Penal Code § 241.5;
  •       Assault on school employee engaged in the performance of his or her duties, or in retaliation for an act performed in the course of his or her duties, California Penal Code § 241.6;
  •       Assault by a person who is a party to a civil or criminal action in which a jury has been selected to try the case on any juror or alternate juror who was selected and sworn in that legal action, while the legal action is pending or after the conclusion of the trial, California Penal Code § 241.7; or
  •       Assault member of the United States Armed Forces because of the victim’s service in the United States Armed Forces, California Penal Code § 241.8.

Assault can become a felony offense when the alleged crime involves the use of a weapon or force likely to cause injury. Enhanced assault offenses include:

  •       Assault with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm, California Penal Code § 245.(a)(1);
  •       Assault with a firearm, California Penal Code § 245.(a)(2);
  •       Assault upon the person of another with a machinegun, assault weapon, or .50 BMG rifle, California Penal Code § 245.(a)(3);
  •       Assault upon the person of another by any means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, California Penal Code § 245.(a)(4);
  •       Assault upon the person of another with a semiautomatic firearm, California Penal Code § 245.(b);
  •       Assault with a deadly weapon or instrument, other than a firearm, or by any means likely to produce great bodily injury upon the person of a peace officer or firefighter engaged in the performance of his or her duties, California Penal Code § 245.(c);
  •       Assault with a firearm upon the person of a peace officer or firefighter engaged in the performance of his or her duties, California Penal Code § 245.(d)(1);
  •       Assault upon the person of a peace officer or firefighter engaged in the performance of his or her duties with a semiautomatic firearm, California Penal Code § 245.(d)(2);
  •       Assault with a machine gun, assault weapon, or .50 BMG rifle upon the person of a peace officer or firefighter engaged in the performance of his or her duties, California Penal Code § 245.(d)(3).
  •       Assault with a deadly weapon or instrument or by any means of force likely to produce great bodily injury upon the person of an operator, driver, or passenger on a bus, taxicab, streetcar, cable car, trackless trolley, or other motor vehicle used for the transportation of persons for hire, or upon the person of a station agent or ticket agent for the entity providing such transportation when the driver, operator, or agent is engaged in the performance of his or her duties, California Penal Code § 245.2;
  •       Assault with a deadly weapon or instrument or by any means likely to produce great bodily injury upon the person of a custodial officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties, California Penal Code § 245.3;
  •       Assault with a deadly weapon or instrument, other than a firearm, or by any means likely to produce great bodily injury upon the person of a school employee engaged in the performance of his or her duties, California Penal Code § 245.5(a);
  •       Assault with a firearm upon the person of a school employee engaged in the performance of his or her duties, when the school employee is engaged in the performance of his or her duties, California Penal Code § 245.5(b); and
  •       Assault upon the person of a school employee engaged in the performance of his or her duties with a stun gun or taser, California Penal Code § 245.5(c).

Types of Battery Crimes in California

Simple battery offenses are typically charged as misdemeanors. Under CALCRIM § 960, the only required element that a prosecutor must prove is that the alleged offender willfully and unlawfully touched the alleged victim in a harmful or offensive manner.

In some instances, a prosecutor may also be required to prove that the accused did not act in self-defense, in defense of someone else, or while reasonably disciplining a child.

Like assault, a battery charge can be enhanced when the victim is of a protected class or if the offense is committed in a specific location. Additional battery offenses in California include:

  •       Battery against the person of a peace officer, custodial officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, lifeguard, security officer, custody assistant, process server, traffic officer, code enforcement officer, animal control officer, or search and rescue member engaged in the performance of his or her duties, or a nonsworn employee of a probation department engaged in the performance of his or her duties, or a physician or nurse engaged in rendering emergency medical care outside a hospital, clinic, or other health care facility, California Penal Code § 243.(b);
  •       Battery against a custodial officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, lifeguard, process server, traffic officer, or animal control officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties, or a nonsworn employee of a probation department engaged in the performance of his or her duties, or a physician or nurse engaged in rendering emergency medical care outside a hospital, clinic, or other health care facility, and an injury is inflicted on that victim, California Penal Code § 243.(c)(1);
  •       Battery against a peace officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties, California Penal Code § 243.(c)(2);
  •       Battery against any person and serious bodily injury is inflicted on the person, California Penal Code § 243.(d);
  •       Battery against a spouse, a person with whom the defendant is cohabiting, a person who is the parent of the defendant’s child, former spouse, fiancé, or fiancée, or a person with whom the defendant currently has, or has previously had, a dating or engagement relationship, California Penal Code § 243.(e)(1);
  •       Battery against the person of a custodial officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties, California Penal Code § 243.1;
  •       Battery committed on school property, park property, or the grounds of a public or private hospital, against any person, California Penal Code § 243.2(a)(1);
  •       Battery against the person of an elder or a dependent adult, California Penal Code § 243.25;
  •       Battery against the person of an operator, driver, or passenger on a bus, taxicab, streetcar, cable car, trackless trolley, or other motor vehicle, including a vehicle operated on stationary rails or on a track or rail suspended in the air, used for the transportation of persons for hire, or against a schoolbus driver, or against the person of a station agent or ticket agent for the entity providing the transportation, and the person is engaged in the performance of his or her duties or is a passenger, California Penal Code § 243.3;
  •       Battery against any person on the property of, or in a motor vehicle of, a public transportation provider, California Penal Code § 243.35;
  •       Battery against a school employee engaged in the performance of his or her duties, or in retaliation for an act performed in the course of his or her duties, California Penal Code § 243.6;
  •       Battery against the person of a highway worker engaged in the performance of his or her duties, California Penal Code § 243.65;
  •       Battery by a person who is a party to a civil or criminal action in which a jury has been selected to try the case on any juror or alternate juror who was selected and sworn in that legal action, while the legal action is pending or after the conclusion of the trial, California Penal Code § 243.7;
  •       Battery against a sports official immediately prior to, during, or immediately following an interscholastic, intercollegiate, or any other organized amateur or professional athletic contest in which the sports official is participating and is engaged in the performance of his or her duties, California Penal Code § 243.8;
  •       Battery against a member of the United States Armed Forces because of the victim’s service in the United States Armed Forces, California Penal Code § 243.10.

Assault and Battery Resources in California

Victim Services Division | District Attorney | San Francisco District Attorney — The goal of San Francisco’s Victim Services Division is to ensure safety, help victims of crime mitigate the trauma of crime and navigate the criminal justice system, and rebuild their lives. Visit this website to learn more about the three units that comprise the Division: Advocacy, Victims Compensation Claims, and Restitution. You can find information about the types of services each of these units provides.

Victim Services Division

850 Bryant St., Room 320

San Francisco, CA 94103

(415) 553-9044

Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions | California Courts — View the full text of the 2017 Edition of CALCRIM approved by the Judicial Council of California at its March 2017 meeting. Read the full instructions that are provided to juries for various assault and battery crimes. Certain entries also include bench notes, lesser included offenses, and related issues.

Find an Assault and Battery Defense Lawyer in San Francisco, CA

If you were arrested for an assault or battery crime in Northern California, it is in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal counsel. [[$firm]] represents residents of and visitors to communities all over, the San Francisco Bay Area, Valley, and Coast.

Our San Francisco criminal defense attorneys can fight to possible get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Call [[$phone]] or complete an online contact form to have our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.