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PRACTICE AREAS Law Office of Gerald E. Smith


Former Police officer AND Prosecutor

A simple Assault in California is an attempt to commit an act (battery) with the ability to carry it out.  It does not require that a battery actually occurs.  
There is also an assault with a deadly weapon where one uses a deadly weapon or instrument capable of causing great bodily injury and/or the victim is seriously injured.  This crime is listed as a felony.
Battery is any unlawful and willful touching that is harmful or offensive.  The crime of Battery becomes a serious felony when a "serious bodily injury" results in a significant injury. Examples include (but are not limited to a concussion, loss of consciousness, broken bones, and disfigurement). 
Punishment in California consists of:  
If you are convicted of simple battery pursuant to Penal Code 242 PC, you face all of the following:
    Informal (otherwise known as summary) probation for up to three years
    Up to six months in a county jail
    A maximum $2,000 fine
    Possible community service and/or successful completion of a batterer's program
If you are convicted of aggravated battery with no  "serious bodily injury", you will likely face a misdemeanor conviction, subjecting you to a maximum one-year county jail sentence.  
However, If the person whom you battered suffers a serious bodily injury, you face a felony, punishable by:
    Formal probation
    2, 3, or 4 years in the California State Prison
    a possible "strike" on your record

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