blog home Criminal Defense Confused by the Difference Between Assault and Battery?

Confused by the Difference Between Assault and Battery?

By Joseph Low on December 12, 2012

So is just about everyone else.

Here is some information to help demystify some of the most common types and commonly misunderstood crimes – assault and battery.

If you have been charged with assault in California, you are being accused of “an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury” to someone else. You don’t actually have to injure the person. If you tried or threatened to, and you were able to, then you may be charged with assault. If convicted, you would face a maximum fine of $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail. Depending on the person you allegedly assaulted, these penalties may increase.

Unlike assault, battery actually involves making physical contact with another person. Under California Penal Code § 242, battery is defined as the intentional and unlawful use of violence or force on someone else. If convicted of battery, you would face a maximum $2,000 fine and up to six months in jail. The penalties for battery also may increase, depending on the person and even the level of injury.

Being arrested can be very overwhelming and confusing, especially if you don’t understand the charges against you, and this is typically how most prosecutors and police officers would want it to stay. Regardless of the crime you are being charged with, however, remember that law enforcement and prosecutors are concerned with putting individuals whom they believe to be criminals behind bars, not necessarily making sure they are guilty. You are innocent until proven guilty and having an aggressive criminal defense attorney on your side can make sure the court hears your side of the story.

Assault and battery charges are serious. If you have been charged with either or both, it is important to hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected. To find out more about your legal options, call The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV at (888) 454-5569.

Posted in: Criminal Defense

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