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Sawl Law Group Sawl Law Group
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Fresno Assault and Battery Lawyer

What is the Difference Between Assault & Battery?

Assault and battery are two terms that are often used interchangeably. However, in the state of California, assault and battery are two separate crimes covered by their own laws. While most people imagine an assault as beating up another person, you can be arrested for this offense without ever actually making physical contact with the alleged victim. You can also be charged with battery in California without actually causing any type of serious injury. Either way, an assault or battery charge can result in criminal penalties as well as the disadvantage of being stuck with a criminal record for the future.

At Sawl Law Group, you can bring your case to a seasoned legal team that provides friendly, honest, and professional legal representation. With over 40 years of collective experience, we are well-versed in California law, well-respected in the local criminal justice system, and dedicated to fiercely protecting your legal rights. Our Visalia assault and battery defense attorneys will work aggressively in investigating your arrest to determine the facts, uncover flaws, inconsistencies, and errors, and create a strong defense on your behalf in search of the best possible case outcome.

Arrested for assault or battery in Visalia or Fresno? Contact Sawl Law Group at (559) 205-7757 for a free consultation. Hablamos español. 

What is Assault in California?

California Section 240 refers to assault as an unlawful attempt to commit a violent injury on someone else. It is an intentional act that includes the ability to actually cause injury. However, the keyword is “attempt,” meaning you do not have to make physical contact with the other person but merely engage in some action that could likely harm them. Thus, throwing a rock at someone one without hitting the other person could be called simple assault.

Simple assault is charged as a misdemeanor carrying penalties of up to six months in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000, probation, and potential restitution to the victim.

What is Battery in California?

While assault is the attempt to use force on another, battery is actually using force on someone. It is intentional, includes the ability to cause harm, as well as making some kind of contact. For battery to occur, you must throw the rock at someone and actually hit the person.

Simple battery is also charged as a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and/or fines of up to $2,000, probation, and possible restitution to the victim.

If you cause actual serious injury to the other person, you may be charged with the separate offense of “battery causing serious bodily injury,” considered aggravated battery. Depending on the circumstances and degree of injury, this could result in a misdemeanor charge punishable as above or as a felony charge punishable by two, three, or four years in jail and fines of up to $10,000, probation, and possible restitution to the victim. 

Other Types of Battery

If you commit battery against a law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, or other public servant doing his or her job, you can also be arrested and charged for “battery on a peace officer.” This is covered by Penal Code 243(b) and 243(c)(2). It involves making contact in an offensive or harmful way and is considered a “wobbler,” meaning it may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

Other specific types of battery under California law include domestic battery, sexual battery, and elder abuse which may be charged as misdemeanors or felonies.

Get an Effective Defense from Sawl Law Group

If you are facing any type of assault or battery charge, you need strong advocacy from a legal professional who will fight for your best interests throughout the criminal justice process. Our legal team brings energy, focus, and commitment to ensuring that you have the best possible defense and thus increasing your chances for a positive result.

Reach out to our Fresno assault & battery lawyers at (559) 205-7757 to discuss your case today. We are available 24/7.


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