Assault, Battery & Criminal Threats (PC 240/242/422)

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Assault and battery are two separate offenses under the California Penal Code (§§ 240, 242-3, and 245).  Below is an explanation of what each offense is, and an explanation of the differences between assault & battery.  

Assault - Penal Code § 240

Assault is: (1) an intentional act; (2) likely to result in the use of force against the victim; (3) which leads the victim to believe the use of force will be applied to them; and (4) the person accused of assault must have the ability to apply force to the victim.  Assault typically involves threats of force or an attempted battery, as, by its definition, it does not include completed acts of force.  Simply put, assault typically doesn't involve actual physical contact.

Battery - Penal Code § 242

Battery, on the other hand, involves physical contact.  Battery is:  (1) an intentional; (2) touching of another; and (3) in a harmful or offensive manner.  A classic example of battery is punching someone in the face without provocation. However, a battery does not necessarily involve a harmful act like a punch, kick, headbutt, etc.  It may involve an offensive act such as grabbing a woman's butt or spitting in someone's face.

The Difference Between Assault & Battery

To illustrate the difference between assault and battery, here is a hypothetical example of assault.  
Bobby Bottleservice approaches Donny Doubleshot at a local bar. Donny is with Bobby's ex-girlfriend, and Bobby is upset. Bobby gets in Donny's face and says, "get out of here, bro, or I'll punch you in the face."  Bobby just committed assault.

Here is a hypothetical example of battery.  Bobby approaches Donny and, without saying anything, punches Donny in the head. Notice that, in this example, Bobby did not threaten any force before punching Donny.  Accordingly, he did not commit assault.  However, because Bobby intentionally
used force against Donny, he could be charged with battery.

Here is a hypothetical example of assault and battery.  Bobby approaches  Donny, and says, "I'm going to knock you out, bro.", and then punches Donny in the face.  In this example, Bobby both threatened the use of force and carried the threat out.  As such, Bobby committed both assault and battery.

Defenses to Assault & Battery

An experienced criminal defense attorney in Riverside County can help you put on a successful defense to assault & battery charges.  Defenses to assault & battery charges include:  (1) you acted in self-defense or in defense of others; (2) you lacked the intent to commit the act; and (3) you were acting within your rights to reasonably discipline your child (in cases where you are charged with battery on your child).

If you have been charged with assault or battery in Temecula, Murrieta, Wildomar, Menifee, Lake Elsinore, Perris, Moreno Valley, Hemet, Banning, Indio, Corona or Riverside, you need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Call me or use the contact form below to schedule a free consultation now.

Criminal Threat Charges in Riverside County

Penal Code § 422 makes it unlawful for an individual to criminally threaten another person.  A criminal threat is:  (1) the threatening of a crime that would cause another person great bodily injury or death; (2) the threat is so immediate, specific and unconditional that it causes another person sustained fear for his or her safety or for the safety of that person's immediate family members or household members; and (3) the fear caused by the threat must be a reasonable fear.

Criminal threats can be made either verbally, in writing or through electronic communication devices. Even if a person makes a threat with no intention of actually following through with it, he or she can still be charged with making a criminal threat.

If you or a loved one have been charged with making a criminal threat in Temecula, Murrieta, Wildomar, Menifee, Perris, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore, Hemet, Banning, Corona or Riverside, you need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Call me or use the contact form below to schedule a free consultation now.