What is Considered Assault in California?

The state of California, like other states in the union, carries its own definitions of specific crimes and penal codes. Since the definition of assault can vary widely depending upon the state in which the possible crime is committed. It is critical for an individual who has been accused of assault in California to understand the state’s actual definition of the crime in order to properly prepare for an effective defense. In the meantime, a bail bonds agent can help get the defendant released from jail as quickly as possible.

Assault Defined

In California, the crime of assault is defined as the unlawful attempt to commit battery on another individual, when combined with the ability to do so. In other words, if an individual makes the attempt to commit violence on another person, and possesses the ability to do so, they are committing assault. There is no need for actual physical contact to be made in order for the attempted battery to qualify as assault.

What happened if an assault is intentionally done?

In most cases, the crime of assault is prosecuted as a misdemeanor. In some situations, however, the crime can be charged as a felony. If an assault is committed on a police officer, a deadly weapon is used or the crime is committed with such force that it would have been likely to cause a great deal of bodily harm to another individual, it is sometimes considered a felony, although that decision is not automatic. In most cases, the prosecutor will consider a variety of factors that will influence whether the assault is to be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor.

When a person is convicted of assault in the state of California, punishment can include fines of up to $1,000.00, up to six months in county jail, or a combination of the two. In order for an individual to be convicted of assault in California, all of the following must be true:

  • The individual in question committed an act that would likely result in violence against another person.
  • The defendant committed the act willingly.
  • The individual in question understood that these acts could be perceived as an attempt to apply force.
  • The defendant possessed the ability to cause harm or apply force to the other person.


It is important for individuals to understand that an accusation or charge is not automatically a conviction. There are a variety of situations in which legal defenses can be used in order to fight assault charges.

  • The individual in question did not possess the ability to inflict harm or force against the other person.
  • The act was not committed willingly.
  • The act was committed in self-defense.
  • The defendant is wrongfully accused.

When an individual has been arrested for assault, it is essential that the person be released from jail as quickly as possible in order to properly prepare for the defense. Since assault is listed on the county bail schedule, it is a good idea to contact a bail bondsman immediately so that the individual can get out of jail more quickly.