Assault & Battery Lawyer

Assault & Battery

Many people default to using the term “assault and battery” as though these offenses occur in tandem. This is not accurate. In reality, assault and battery are two crimes with distinct definitions under California law. For example, the criminal offense of “assault” is defined under California Penal Code 240PC. The criminal offense of “battery” is defined under California Penal Code 242PC.

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What’s the Difference Between Assault & Battery?

In California, assault is defined as “an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.” Basically, this means the primary difference between assault and battery is effectively the end result of the action. In simpler terms, the issue is whether the alleged assailant actually went through with their attempt or not. If the alleged assailant actually commits an injury, they will likely be charged with battery. An attempt to commit harm, but not actually doing so, is generally chargeable as assault.

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Assault With a Deadly Weapon

Under California law, there are four types of battery and assault. Specifically, there are two specific assault criminal offenses and two specific battery criminal offenses, including:

  1. “Simple” Assault
  2. Assault with a Deadly Weapon
  3. “Simple” Battery
  4. Aggravated Battery

Simple Assault

Under California law, simple assault is defined as an unlawful threat or attempt to injure or physically harm another person, in combination with the actual ability to follow through on the threat or attempt.

Simple assault is a misdemeanor offense in California. If convicted, a defendant could be ordered to serve up to six months in jail and pay a fine of up to $1,000.

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Assault With a Deadly Weapon

In California, assault with a deadly weapon can be charged when an assault is committed with a potentially lethal weapon, such as a gun or knife. In addition, an assault committed with sufficient force to cause “great bodily injury” could potentially be charged as assault with a deadly weapon.

For example, discharging a firearm at someone, attempting to stab someone with a knife, or ordering your attack dog to pounce on someone could all be charged as an assault with a deadly weapon. 

The central issue is whether a potentially deadly weapon was used to make a threat of violence.

Under California law, assault with a deadly weapon can be charged as a misdemeanor offense or felony offense in California. Whether the charge rises to a felony depends largely on the specific circumstances and details of the alleged offense. 

If convicted for assault with a deadly weapon, the penalties may include:

  1. When charged as a misdemeanor (but no firearm was actually discharged), a conviction may be punishable by having to serve up to one year in jail and having to pay a fine of up to $1,000.
  2. When charged as a misdemeanor (and a firearm is discharged), a conviction carries a minimum mandatory sentence of having to serve six months in jail.
  3. When assault with a deadly weapon is charged as a felony, a conviction may be punishable by having to serve up to four years in prison and having to pay a fine of up to $10,000.

Simple Battery

Under California law, “simple battery” is defined as intentionally and forcefully or violently touching another individual in an offensive or unwanted way.

It is important to note that you can still be charged with simple battery, even if you did not actually cause injury, harm, or pain to another individual. The key factor is whether you touched someone who did not want to or consent to being touched.

Simple battery is a misdemeanor offense in California. If convicted of simple battery, a defendant may be ordered to serve up to six months in jail and/or have to pay a fine of up to $2,000.

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Aggravated Battery

In California, aggravated battery can be charged when someone suffers a “significant or substantial physical injury.” For example, if you grab someone’s arm and that results in the individual’s arm being broken, you could be charged with aggravated battery in California. Assault with a deadly weapon can also be charged as aggravated battery.

Aggravated battery may be charged as a misdemeanor offense or felony offense under California law.

If convicted of a felony offense, a defendant could be ordered to serve up to four years in prison. If convicted as a misdemeanor, a defendant could be ordered to serve up to one year in jail.

How Kevin Heaney Can Help You

If you were charged with assault and/or battery in California, you owe it to yourself to have a skilled assault lawyer and battery attorney on your side. Possessing decades of experience representing individuals who have been charged with a variety of criminal offenses, including assault and battery. Work with Kevin Heaney today.

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Here’s what clients had to say about Kevin Heaney’s work
Kevin did an amazing job. He turned a nightmare into a really manageable situation. Without going into detail, I was facing some complications due to my record that would have made for a lengthy and grand problem. He was able to get it mitigated and really came away amazing, compared to where we started. Worth every penny and more. I feel that the work he did was more than commensurate for what he charged me. I will use him in the future and I would recommend him to family and friends.
Amazing honest and efficient lawyer! Kevin knows the ins and outs of the criminal system. He is the definitely the guy to have on your side. I won’t go into the details of the case, but my brother got involve in a domestic violent situation and we needed a good Marin lawyer that wouldn’t charge an arm and a leg to take his case. I was referred to Kevin by a friend of mine. I noticed on the initial phone consultation that he really wanted to help. We were able to work out a very reasonable price for the handling of the case, so we hired him. Kevin worked hard since day one, and he got my bro a very good deal with the DA. Our family is thankful to have hired him.
I contacted Kevin when I needed legal representation in a case which I felt required a high level of client service and representation. He was always right there for me when I needed him, whether it was showing up early for hearings, to the individualized attention I received at the courthouse, and having private meetings in his office anytime, as often as needed without any rescheduling. Kevin approached my case with care and made me feel comfortable as he took the time to thoroughly review my case history, explain my options to me, and was readily available and responsive when I had questions or just needed to talk to him. He treated my case with genuine care and attention it deserved and my case results certainly reflected his strong personal and professional attributes. I wouldn’t hesitate to contact Kevin again if the need arises.
I received the best possible outcome by giving my case to Kevin Heaney. He fought for me the entire way until he got my case dismissed! I have never come across a lawyer that cares so much about his clients or what happens to them. His rates are very affordable and he is open to negotiate the numbers. It is clear that he wants to help. Kevin knows his stuff and he is on top of it. He is also very personable, kept me in the loop of things throughout the process and always returned my calls and emails. I am grateful and lucky to have found Kevin. He is a true professional and knows how to get it done.
I wanted to thank you for the excellent job you did on getting Luis Correa’s case dismissed. You were very efficient and with minimal stress to Mr Correa. He had full confidence in you and you made it very easy for him to put this case in your hands. The fact that he only had to meet with you a few times and only able to provide you with minimal information he had on his case was a blessing that you were able to get the case dismissed! You know your stuff! Thank you once again and Mr Correa is very pleased with the outcome and can get on with his life without this case over him.