California law defines Assault, also known as a “”simple assault””, as an attempt to commit a violent injury on the person of another. Though “”assault & battery”” are often used together, they are two distinct crimes, with Battery consisting of the actual use of unlawful force, as opposed to an attempt to do so. You can be charged with Assault even if no one was actually hurt by your behavior. Examples of Assault are throwing rocks at a passing car or throwing a drink on someone at a bar or spitting at another person or offensive touching.
What does the prosecutor have to prove?
1. The defendant did something that was likely to result in the use of force against someone else;
2. The defendant did so willfully;
3. The defendant was aware of facts that would lead a reasonable person to believe that this act would directly and probably result in force being applied to the other person; and
4. When the defendant acted, s/he had the ability to apply force to the other person. [Cal Crim No. 915]
Misdemeanor: 0-180 days