Being charged with assault or battery in California can be one of the most frightening, life-changing experiences one can go through. If the police make any assumptions during investigations, the case can completely overturn the outcomes, with penalties of up to 25 years. So, what makes a simple assault or battery, and what are the implications of each?
Assault is merely a threat to cause harm to another person without actually harming them; for example, threatening to injure someone or making an effort to harm a victim but failing to for whatever reason. Acts of battery, on the other hand, are actual violent crimes against someone. Anything that involves touching the other person in an unwanted, offensive way constitutes a battery.
Simple or aggravated assault and battery
Simple assault is when you threaten someone, and you have the potential or the capacity to make that threat happen. For example, telling someone you will punch them, and you are fit to actually do so. In California, simple assault is a misdemeanor; thus, you can serve a six-month jail term and a $1000 fine if found guilty.
Aggravated assault is when you threaten someone with a weapon like a screwdriver, firearm, or knife. Convictions can either be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the weapon used, the person assaulted and previously related crimes. Penalties can go up to 25 years in prison.
Simple battery is when you forcefully or violently touch someone without causing harm or injury to them. Also, this will be treated as a misdemeanor in California with penalties of $2000 or six months in jail. Aggravated battery is when you injure the other person. The penalties for this crime are the most severe.