Assault and Battery

If you have been charged with committing the crime of assault or battery, contact criminal defense Attorney Karen E. Lockhart at (951) 698-5191. Consultations are free, confidential, and can be in person or over the telephone.

Assault and Battery crimes are defined in Penal Code section 220 - 222 and Penal Code section 240 - 248.

An individual may be charged with assault and battery if they threaten to harm or carry out harm against another. People commonly refer to assault and battery as if they are one crime. They are actually separate and distinct charges. An assault can be accomplished by simply threatening another with force or violence. This can be accomplished by merely making a threat or brandishing a weapon of some sort. . Battery is simply an offensive touching, and can be done with direct or indirect touching.

The Penal Code defines assault as an "unlawful attempt" to cause a "violent injury on the person of another." A prosecutor must show that the defendant intended to commit a battery and had the "present ability" to do so, but does not need to show that physical contact actually happened.

Battery describes force or violence used against another person. A prosecutor must show that the defendant willfully made contact with another person.


Simple Assault is a misdemeanor and can be punished by up to six months in county jail.

Sexual Assault is a felony. It can result in imprisonment in the state prison for five, seven, or nine years. Sexual assault during the course of a first degree burglary can be punished by a state prison sentence for life with the possibility of parole.

Simple Battery is a misdemeanor and carries a potential sentence of 6 months in county jail.

Aggravated Battery is a can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on circumstances and depending on the extent of injury or harm to the victim

Aggravated battery is punishable by up to 4 years in state prison.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon will almost always be charged as a felony. There is no actual touching required. Simply swinging a bat at someone or pointing a loaded firearm satisfies the elements.

Assault with a deadly weapon is punishable by up to 4 years in state prison. More if a firearm is involved.


Some of the available defenses to assault and battery crimes are self defense, defense of others, dense of property, and accident.

Self defense or defense of others requires an actual and a reasonable belief in the need to act in defense of yourself or someone else. In other words, something happened, or someone did something that made your believe you or someone else were in harm’s way, and you acted to protect yourself or the other person.

Defense of property most commonly occurs when someone in breaking into your house or your business, and you are in fear of bodily injury or even death.

The defense of accident is a complete defense to assault or battery.

Assault and Battery Defense Attorney

Assault and battery crimes are prosecuted very aggressively in Riverside County. This means that prosecutors will be tougher on the defendant charged with these crimes, and the penalties might be stiffer. You need an experienced, aggressive attorney on your side. One that understands the elements and the defenses of the crimes charged. Contact assault and battery defense attorney Karen E. Lockhart at 951-698-5191.