Simple Misdemeanor Battery per California Penal Code 242 does not require injury. Any rude or angry touching of another can be a battery even without injury. The law protects individuals from any willful touching in a harmful or offensive manner, and which is not in done self defense. Simple Assault per PC 240 requires someone to have the present ability to apply force and willfully act, not in self defense, in a way that a reasonable person would believe the probable result would be a battery. Assault is more of a threatening and actual touching is not required for PC 240.
The slightest touching may be enough to constitute Battery if it was done in a rude or angry manner. Words alone by another person are not a valid excuse for committing this crime. it is a defense to battery if you are responding with reasonable force to a valid threat or assault to yourself or another. There are more serious charges of battery if committed against a spouse, elder, peace officer, firefighter, school employee, juror or other protected governmental groups identified in the penal code.
Additionally, Assault or Battery can become a felony if there is serious injury or a weapon is used, see California Penal Code 245. These charges are serious even as misdemeanors. They can result in loss of vocational licenses or employment, immigration issues, loss of gun rights, child visitation and custody issues and are problematic in many other areas. If you are arrested or charged with an assault or battery, it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney right away to address the issues and understand the Court process. Criminal defense law firm Christoph Law Offices has been across the street from Vista Courts for over 35 years, and offer a free consultation by calling 760-941-5720.