Assault and Battery are not one and the same

There are different factors that can influence the charge of assault and battery. Learn about the differences between the two and how you can get help if you have been charged.

Battery is all about committing the act

The Penial Code PC 242 states that battery is “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence
upon the person of another.” Slightly more simplified as: illegally and purposely using force or violence against someone. This requires some type of physical contact to have occurred.

Assault is about having the ability to commit the act
An assault is “an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another”. This is essentially having the ability and making an attempt to hurt someone. No injury or contact has to occur; it just has to be attempted.

What if you are convicted of both assault and battery?

This may seem a little confusing because you can actually be convicted of both assault and battery, but you can only actually be charged with one or the other. Oftentimes, two charges are issued for a crime, but you can’t actually have committed both. One is lesser of the other. The assault may have occurred, but if physical contact was the final outcome, it can no longer be assault. It would then have to be considered battery.

How serious are assault and battery charges?

Anytime a person tries or actually inflicts harm to another person, besides the fact that it is illegal, it’s a serious problem. There are punishments for these crimes depending on the severity of what occurred. Simple assault is a misdemeanor with punishment of up to 6 months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine, while assault with any type of weapon can elevate the crime to a felony with much harsher punishments.

Battery charges are processed similarly to assault; the severity of the physical contact will usually determine the seriousness of the charges. The minimal punishments usually include some probation, a short jail sentence, a small fine, and possibly community service or completing a class on battery. More serious offenses will include several years in jail and an incident reported on your criminal record.

How to fight those assault and battery charges

If you have been charged with one or both assault and battery charges, you don’t have to accept that as the final outcome. There are many circumstances that can affect the outcome in a trial with these charges, such as the victim provoking the defendant, the defendant acting in self defense, if it was an accident, whether physical contact was or wasn’t likely, if the act was willful, or if the defendant didn’t have the ability to even commit such a crime. These are examples of factors that will be evaluated when you call our Downtown LA Law offices.

Our attorneys will analyze every angle of the case, getting you the minimal punishment possible, and possibly getting the case dismissed. Call us today for your free consultation and fight these charges with an experienced professional.