San Diego Criminal Defense

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San Diego Criminal Lawyer

Practice Areas

Assault

California Penal Code 240 (PC240)

 

Definition of Assault

 

Assault is defined as the unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another. 

 

Examples of behavior that could lead to an assault charge are:

 

  • "Taking a swing" at another person, for any reason.

 

  • Knocking away a supportive device, such as a cane or crutches. 

 

  • Slipping an unsuspecting person a laxative as a practical joke. 

 

Punishment for an assault charge:

 

The puishment for assault can vary depending on a person's prior history and parole status. The punishment for a first time offender is: no more than 6 months in jail, or a $1,000 fine, or both.  

 

To be found guilty of the crime of assault, the government must prove: 

 

1. The defendant did an act that by its nature would directly and probably result in the application of force to a person;

 

2. The defendant did that act willfully;

 

3. When the defendant acted, (he/she) was aware of facts that would lead a reasonable person to realize that (his/her) act by its nature would directly and probably result in the application of force to someone;

 

AND

 

4. When the defendant acted, (he/she) had the present ability to apply force to a person(;/.)

 

IF YOU ARE CLAIMING SELF-DEFENSE, THE GOVERNMENT MUST ALSO PROVE YOU DID NOT ACT IN SELF-DEFENSE. 

 

 

Clarifying Instructions 

 

* Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose. It is not required that he or she intend to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage.

 

* The terms application of force and apply force mean to touch in a harmful or offensive manner. The slightest touching can be enough if it is done in a rude or angry way. Making contact with another person, including through his or her clothing, is enough. The touching does not have to cause pain or injury of any kind.

 

* The touching can be done indirectly by causing an object [or someone else] to touch the other person.

 

* The People are not required to prove that the defendant actually touched someone.

 

* The People are not required to prove that the defendant actually intended to use force against someone when (he/she) acted.

 

* No one needs to actually have been injured by the defendant’s act. But if someone was injured, you may consider that fact, along with all the other evidence, in deciding whether the defendant committed an assault[, and if so, what kind of assault it was].

 

* Voluntary intoxication is not a defense to assault.

 

California Penal Code 240 (PC 240)

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

 

California Penal Code 241 (PC 241)

PC 241(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.

PC 241(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.

PC 241(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.

PC 241(d) As used in this section, the following definitions apply:

(1) Peace officer means any person defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2.

(2) "Emergency medical technician" means a person possessing a valid course completion certificate from a program approved by the State Department of Health Care Services for the medical training and education of ambulance personnel, and who meets the standards of Division 2.5 (commencing with Section 1797) of the Health and Safety Code.

(3) "Mobile intensive care paramedic" refers to those persons who meet the standards set forth in Division 2.5 (commencing with Section 1797) of the Health and Safety Code.

(4) "Nurse" means a person who meets the standards of Division 2.5 (commencing with Section 1797) of the Health and Safety Code.

(5) "Lifeguard" means a person who is: (A) Employed as a lifeguard by the state, a county, or a city, and is designated by local ordinance as a public officer who has a duty and responsibility to enforce local ordinances and misdemeanors through the issuance of citations. (B) Wearing distinctive clothing which includes written identification of the person's status as a lifeguard and which clearly identifies the employing organization.

(6) "Process server" means any person who meets the standards or is expressly exempt from the standards set forth in Section 22350 of the Business and Professions Code.

(7) "Traffic officer" means any person employed by a county or city to monitor and enforce state laws and local ordinances relating to parking and the operation of vehicles.

(8) "Animal control officer" means any person employed by a county or city for purposes of enforcing animal control laws or regulations.

(9) (A) "Code enforcement officer" means any person who is not described in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 and who is employed by any governmental subdivision, public or quasi-public corporation, public agency, public service corporation, any town, city, county, or municipal corporation, whether incorporated or chartered, that has enforcement authority for health, safety, and welfare requirements, and whose duties include enforcement of any statute, rules, regulations, or standards, and who is authorized to issue citations, or file formal complaints. (B) "Code enforcement officer" also includes any person who is employed by the Department of Housing and Community Development who has enforcement authority for health, safety, and welfare requirements pursuant to the Employee Housing Act (Part 1 (commencing with Section 17000) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code); the State Housing Law (Part 1.5 (commencing with Section 17910) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code); the Manufactured Housing Act of 1980 (Part 2 (commencing with Section 18000) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code); the Mobilehome Parks Act (Part 2.1 (commencing with Section 18200) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code); and the Special Occupancy Parks Act (Part 2.3 (commencing with Section 18860) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code).

(10) "Parking control officer" means any person employed by a city, county, or city and county, to monitor and enforce state laws and local ordinances relating to parking.

(11) "Search and rescue member" means any person who is part of an organized search and rescue team managed by a governmental agency.

 

California Penal Code 241.1. (PC 241.1)
Assault on a Custodial Officer

When an assault is committed against the person of a custodial officer as defined in Section 831 or 831.5, and the person committing the offense knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a custodial officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties, the offense shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.

 

California Penal Code 241.2 (PC 241.2) 
Assault on School or Park property

PC 241.2(a)

(1) When an assault is committed on school or park property against any person, the assault is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

(2) When a violation of this section is committed by a minor on school property, the court may, in addition to any other fine, sentence, or as a condition of probation, order the minor to attend counseling as deemed appropriate by the court at the expense of the minor's parents. The court shall take into consideration the ability of the minor's parents to pay, however, no minor shall be relieved of attending counseling because of the minor's parents' inability to pay for the counseling imposed by this section.

PC 241.2(b) "School," as used in this section, means any elementary school, junior high school, four-year high school, senior high school, adult school or any branch thereof, opportunity school, continuation high school, regional occupational center, evening high school, technical school, or community college.

PC 241.2(c) "Park," as used in this section, means any publicly maintained or operated park. It does not include any facility when used for professional sports or commercial events.

 

California Penal Code 241.3 (PC 241.3.) 
Assault on public transportation 

 

PC241.3(a) When an assault is committed against any person on the property of, or on a motor vehicle of, a public transportation provider, the offense shall be punished by a fine not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by both the fine and imprisonment.

PC 241.3(b) As used in this section, "public transportation provider" means a publicly or privately owned entity that operates, for the transportation of persons for hire, a bus, taxicab, streetcar, cable car, trackless trolley, or other motor vehicle, including a vehicle operated on stationary rails or on a track or rail suspended in air, or that operates a schoolbus.

PC241.3(c) As used in this section, "on the property of" means the entire station where public transportation is available, including the parking lot reserved for the public who utilize the transportation system.

 

California Penal Code 241.4 (PC 241.4)
Assault on a School Police

An assault is punishable by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by both. When the assault is committed against the person of a peace officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties as a member of a police department of a school district pursuant to Section 38000 of the Education Code, and the person committing the offense knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a peace officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties, the offense shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.

 

California Penal Code 241.5.
Assault on a Highway Worker

PC241.5(a) When an assault is committed against a highway worker 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 highway worker engaged in the performance of his or her duties, the offense shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000) or by imprisonment in a county jail up to one year or by both that fine and imprisonment.

 

PC241.5(b) As used in this section, "highway worker" means an employee of the Department of Transportation, a contractor or employee of a contractor while working under contract with the Department of Transportation, an employee of a city, county, or city and county, a contractor or employee of a contractor while working under contract with a city, county, or city and county, or a volunteer as defined in Section 1720.4 of the Labor Code who does one or more of the following: (1) Performs maintenance, repair, or construction of state highway or local street or road infrastructures and associated rights-of-way in highway or local street or road work zones. (2) Operates equipment on state highway or local street or road infrastructures and associated rights-of-way in highway or local street or road work zones. (3) Performs any related maintenance work, as required, on state highway or local street or road infrastructures in highway or local street or road work zones.

 

California Penal Code 241.6.
Assault on a School Employee

When an assault is committed against a school employee engaged in the performance of his or her duties, or in retaliation for an act performed in the course of his or her duties, whether on or off campus, during the schoolday or at any other time, and the person committing the offense knows or reasonably should know the victim is a school employee, the assault is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment. For purposes of this section, "school employee" has the same meaning as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 245.5. This section shall not apply to conduct arising during the course of an otherwise lawful labor dispute.

 

California Penal Code 241.7.
Assault on a Juror

Any person who is a party to a civil or criminal action in which a jury has been selected to try the case and who, while the legal action is pending or after the conclusion of the trial, commits an assault against any juror or alternate juror who was selected and sworn in that legal action, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.

 

California Penal Code 241.8.
Assault on a Member of the Military or Armed Services

(a) Any person who commits an assault against a member of the United States Armed Forces because of the victim's service in the United States Armed Forces shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), by imprisonment in a county jail for a period not exceeding one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

(b) "Because of" means that the bias motivation must be a cause in fact of the assault, whether or not other causes exist. When multiple concurrent motives exist, the prohibited bias must be a substantial factor in bringing about the assault.