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Distinguishing Between Assault And Battery Under California Laws

  • By: Donald J. Matson, Esq.
  • Published: November 19, 2021
Distinguishing Between Assault And Battery Under California Laws

Assault vs Battery In California

It is common for many to use assault and battery interchangeably. However, they are two criminal offenses that mean different cases entirely. This guide will help you to understand the major difference between assault and battery under California laws.

What Is A Battery Under California Laws?

A battery under California laws is when an individual charges another with a violent act. Hence, an offense is considered a battery when the violent act is carried out willfully with the precise intent of causing harm. Even if the action was done indirectly or the push did not cause pain, it is still considered a battery.

A battery can also be in two panels; panel code 242 and panel code 243. Charges are under a panel based on the severity of the obtained injury. Hence, panel code 243 is for severe damage, while panel code 242 is for mild injury.

What Is An Assault?

Assault is an attempted harm towards a person. It means the plan to hurt another person is usually unsuccessful in this case. Assault is a lesser offense than a battery, which leads to a lesser fine or years in jail. However, a person can face charges for both assault and battery.

For instance, Patrick determines to run over Lauren with his car because she had offended him a few minutes ago. While trying to hit her, the lady escapes it, it is considered an assault. Hence, being charged with assault and battery means the crime was intended and successful.

Meanwhile, Patrick can claim his act was because of alcohol. Regardless, it is unlawful to drive while drinking in California. The case would still be a battery.

Some criminal cases may be a result of self-defense. If the lawyer is an expert on the job and can link up evidence, it is possible to be free of any charges. Another exception to the battery case is consent. For instance, sports like football will require constant push and pull. In this case, the law will not hold it against anyone.

What Then Is The Difference between Assault And Battery?

Assault and battery are different criminal offenses. Assault is still in the attempt process, while the battery is a violent charge towards another person. Hence, assault does not involve physical attack or injury, while injury occurs in the case of battery.

For both cases of battery and assault, there is a need to hire an attorney that will plead your case innocent.

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