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Attorney for Assault Charges

 

California Assault Charges (PC 240-248)

Penal Code 240:

California defines misdemeanor simple assault under Penal Code Section 240 or P.C. 240 as:

"An assault is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another."

Why was I charged with simple assault if I didn't hit anyone?

Assault does not require you to make contact with someone to be charged with an assault. Think of assault as an "attempted battery." Your actions would have been unlawful if you made contact, you could commit a violent injury and you attempted such an action but were unsuccessful.  

What does the prosecutor need to prove that I assaulted someone in PC 240? 

  • You attempted an act.
  • Which would have been unlawful if successful, and… 
  • You had the present ability to cause violent injury to another if successful in your action.  

What are the defenses to the charge of PC 240, or an assault?

  • You did not attempt to harm anyone, false allegations.
  • Your action would not have been unlawful if you made contact, it was part of a sporting event. 
  • You did not have the present ability to cause violent injury like you swung to punch someone at the other side of the street.
  • You acted in self-defense, you were not the original aggressor and only acted in defending yourself. 
  • You acted in defense of another, you were pushing someone away from a train track as a train was coming.
  • Your action was permitted by law, it was a necessary medical procedure. 

What are examples of how someone could be charged with an assault under PC 240?

  • You threw a punch at someone during an argument and missed.
  • You threw an object at someone with an intent to harm them but missed.
  • You tried to push someone so they could fall or fall into a dangerous roadway/railway/off of a ledge or cliff but failed.

Is P.C. 240 or a misdemeanor or felony?

Simple assault under PC 240 is a misdemeanor. 

What are the penalties for the charge of Penal Code 240, simple assault? 

  • 0-180 days in jail.
  • Firearm restrictions. 

Penal Code 241:

What is penal code 241?

Penal Code 241 is an assault (see above) but against a peace officer or other specified persons engaged in the performance of their duties or physicians or nurses rendering emergency care. 

California defines assault against an officer or specified persons under Penal Code Section 241 or P.C. 241 as:

"(a) An assault is punishable by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by both the fine and imprisonment.

(b) When an assault is committed against the person of a parking control officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties, and the person committing the offense knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a parking control officer, the assault is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by both the fine and imprisonment.

(c) When an assault is committed against the person of a peace officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, mobile intensive care paramedic, lifeguard, process server, traffic officer, code enforcement officer, animal control officer, or search and rescue member engaged in the performance of his or her duties, or a physician or nurse engaged in rendering emergency medical care outside a hospital, clinic, or other health care facility, and the person committing the offense knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a peace officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, mobile intensive care paramedic, lifeguard, process server, traffic officer, code enforcement officer, animal control officer, or search and rescue member engaged in the performance of his or her duties, or a physician or nurse engaged in rendering emergency medical care, the assault is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both the fine and imprisonment."

Why was I charged with simple assault if I didn't hit anyone?

Once again, you do not have to make contact with someone to be charged with an assault. Think of assault as an "attempted battery." You were charged for this either during an arrest by an officer or medical professionals trying to render your medical aid and they felt you were being combative against them.  

What does the prosecutor need to prove that I assaulted someone in PC 241a? 

  • You attempted an act.
  • Which would have been unlawful if successful, and… 
  • You had the present ability to cause violent injury to another if successful in your action, and… 
  • That person was an officer performing their duties or specified persons engaged in rendering medical assistance.

What are the defenses to the charge of PC 241, or an assault of a peace officer?

  • You did not attempt to harm anyone; false allegations.
  • Your action would not have been unlawful if you made contact; it was inadvertent. 
  • You did not know they were a peace officer or medical professional.
  • You did not have the present ability to cause violent injury.
  • You acted in self-defense; you were being detained illegally by the officer and the officer's action was not part of their duty.
  • You acted in defense of other(s); you were attempting to help an officer subdue another during an arrest and accidentally swung at the wrong person.

Is P.C. 241 or a misdemeanor or felony?

Penal Code 241, assault on a peace officer or specified persons, is usually a misdemeanor.  

What are the penalties for the charge of Penal Code 241, assault of a peace officer? 

  • 0-180 days in jail.
  • Firearm restrictions.
  • Fine not to exceed $1,000.
  • If a victim is acting as parking enforcement or medical personnel, fine not to exceed $2,000 (PC 241(b)).
  • Possible Immigration Consequences

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