The state of California has several laws on its books that address assault and battery crimes. Some are misdemeanors, and others are considered felonies, with harsh punishments attached to those convictions.
Simple Assault in Long Beach County
The least-serious charge associated with assault and battery in the state of California is simple assault, according to our assault and battery attorneys. This misdemeanor is defined as an unlawful attempt, combined with an ability, to commit an injury to another person. It’s important to note that physical contact is not necessary to be charged with and convicted of simple assault. It may be the least serious of assault crimes, but it does come with significant repercussions. Simple assault in California is “punishable by up to six months in county jail and/or a maximum $1,000 fine, probation, restitution to the victim(s).”
Simple Battery Charges in California
More serious than a simple assault charge, simple battery charges can be deemed a misdemeanor or a felony. The judge is traditionally the decision-maker in these cases. This crime is defined as a willful and unlawful use of force or violence against another person. Conviction of simple battery can come with a $2,000 fine, 6 months in jail, or for more serious convictions, those numbers (both monetary and time spent in jail) could be higher.
Assault with Deadly Weapon or Force
In Long Beach County, assault with a deadly weapon might include felony or misdemeanor charges. This is known as a “wobbler.” This is applicable for any assault that included anything deemed a “deadly weapon” other than a firearm, but that can create bodily harm. If it sounds as though the definition is subjective, it’s because a broader definition provides leeway for prosecutors and the court system to decide about the weapon used, and if it could create deadly force.
These convictions in California come with the potential of $10,000 in fines and up to 4 years in prison. If the conviction is for a misdemeanor, that brings with it up to one year in county jail and potential fines.
Assault with a Firearm in California
These convictions are treated as most serious and are similar to the elements involved with assault with a deadly weapon charge. The difference is that these charges do not come with a stipulation of “manner likely to produce bodily harm.” In fact, any assault where a firearm is in one’s possession, even if it’s not ever introduced into the conflict, can be charged accordingly. These convictions bring up to 4 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Finally, in California, there are different enhancements and aggregating factors that can affect the way someone is penalized. A few of those factors might include where a crime occurred, such as in front of a school or a hospital. The targets of the crime are also taken into consideration. In California, if a person is convicted of assaulting some law enforcement officer or other emergency personnel, teachers, bus drivers, or others in public service, the enhancements can be significant.
For more information, speak to an criminal defense lawyer today.