Assault is one of the oldest crimes in the book. Often, as is evidenced by film and television, it is linked to the crime of battery. While it is true that is it possible to be charged with “assault and battery,” it is possible to be charged with one crime, but not the other. One thing is true with regard to conviction for either crime in the state of California – you will face serious consequences. As such, you need to rely on the skill of an experienced California criminal defense attorney. A skilled attorney will fight to protect your legal rights, invoke any legitimate defenses (e.g. self-defense), and explore all avenues of reasonable doubt in challenging the state prosecutor’s efforts to convict you.
Distinguishing Assault from Battery
Sometimes the difference between assault and battery is simply the difference between a swing and a miss and a swing and a hit. In other words, the outcome of the swing matters. The swing is the attempt, and it is the crucial element of assault. Under California Penal Code 240, assault is an attempt to use force or violence on another person. So, even if you attempt to throw a punch or a swing baseball bat at another person and fail to make contact with them, you may be properly charged with assault for merely making the attempt to use force or violence on them.