Assault & Battery Defense in San Diego

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People seldom understand the laws pertaining to assault and battery charges. For example, few realize that even if there was no actual physical contact, you can still be charged for an assault.

Our criminal defense lawyer in San Diego can help you understand the law and vigorously defend you from assault and battery charges. We offer free confidential consultations to any prospective clients charged with serious crimes in San Diego County.

Assault & Battery Defined

A battery (Penal Code ‘243) is, essentially, the “willful use of force or violence upon another.” This means any physical contact with another person to which that other person has not consented. An assault (Penal Code ‘240) is basically an attempt at a battery. The terms assault and battery often go together, but not always.

There are several different types of assault and battery charges in California law:

  • Simple Battery (PC 242)
  • Sexual Battery (PC 243.4) (See also Sex Crimes)
  • Assault with Deadly Weapon (PC 245) If Great Bodily Injury (GBI) is charged, the crime is elevated to a “Strike.”
  • Battery on a Spouse or Girlfriend/Boyfriend (PC 273.5) (Also known as Domestic Violence)

Defenses Against Assault & Battery Charges

San Diego criminal defense attorney Timothy J. Richardson has successfully represented many people charged with assault and battery.

After examining your case, he can propose many different types of defense, including:

  • Lack of intent, such as an accident. The crime of battery requires that the defendant actually intended to commit a ‘willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.’ If the injuries were made by accident, it does not qualify.
  • Self-defense. It is not assault and battery if you were simply defending yourself from an attack.
  • Defense of other people or defense of property. Similarly, it does not qualify as battery if the physical contact were made against someone trying to attack other people or property.

An important factor in any assault and battery defense is the extent of the injury. If the alleged victim has slight or no injury, it most often is charged as a misdemeanor. If significant injury occurs, such as cuts requiring stitches or broken bones, then the offense is charged as a felony. In some cases, the offense may be charged as a strike under California’s “three strikes” law.

Contact The Law Offices of Timothy J. Richardson

Get our San Diego criminal defense lawyers’ help with an assault and battery charge by calling (619) 473-5662 or emailing us through our contact page. We can meet with you in a free confidential consultation during weekdays, weekends, or evenings, and we have a 24-hour answering service ready to take your call.


  • The Law Offices of Timothy J. Richardson I was highly impressed at the way he was able to explain things and his confidence and knowledge put me at ease.
  • The Law Offices of Timothy J. Richardson If you need assistance with criminal cases, this is the man to call!
  • The Law Offices of Timothy J. Richardson This man saved my life 4 years ago!
  • The Law Offices of Timothy J. Richardson Highly recommend!
  • The Law Offices of Timothy J. Richardson I was amazed on the positive outcome and results of my case. Mr. Richardson is a lawyer who does what he says and is on point.
  • The Law Offices of Timothy J. Richardson Great confident and trusted attorney.
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