The Old Sacramento Bridge

Assault & Battery

I defend people charged with assault and battery in the Sacramento area. If you've been charged with one of these crimes, you may be facing very serious consequences. As a criminal defense lawyer and former prosecutor, I can help minimize the current and long-term consequences of your charges.


Assault is defined by California Penal Code section 240 as "an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another." To get a conviction for assault, the prosecution must show that you had the intention to inflict injury on another person and that you had the ability to make it happen.

The reality is that few people are charged with a simple assault. Instead, they face more serious charges that stem from an assault using some sort of weapon. Penal Code 245 (a) (2) concerns assault with a firearm. Penal Code 245 (a) (1) concerns assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, or with force sufficient to cause great bodily injury.

Under California law, assault is a 'wobbler,' which means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances. A simple assault is charged as a misdemeanor, and comes with fines up to $1,000 and time in county jail of up to six months. But a number of factors can raise the charge to a felony and result in substantially greater penalties.

To build an effective defense, your attorney needs to ask questions and gather evidence to fully understand the nature of the incident. An assault charge can sometimes arise from a verbal conflict, when in reality there was no intention to cause bodily injury. Or it could be that people in a room where a fight breaks out are falsely accused. Whatever, the circumstances, you need an attorney who knows the law and can defend your interests and reputation.


Battery is defined by California Penal Code section 242 as a "willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another." So, where an assault is an attempt to injure someone, a battery is the actual commission of the injury.

Like assault, battery is a wobbler. Simple batteries are charged as misdemeanors, with convictions resulting in fines of up to $2,000 and county jail time of up to six months. Certain circumstances, however, can raise the charge to a felony. Battery with great bodily injury, for example, can be charged as a felony and can result in a prison term of two, three, or four years.

Experience and Dedication

Because both assault and battery are serious crimes that carry severe penalties, it is important that anyone facing charges seek representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Before starting my criminal defense practice, I was a prosecutor for over six years and handled all types of violent crime cases. Understanding how the other side builds its cases allows me to craft an effective defense and challenge the prosecution's case.

Call 916-442-1200 for a Free and Confidential Consultation

For a free consultation regarding your charges, contact me online or call me at 916-442-1200.

Client Reviews
Nancy King was patient, persistent, and polite. She followed up and kept me informed, took a lot of the stress off of me. She was very instrumental in eventually getting the case against me dismissed. It was money well spent. Linda
My son's case involved felony theft and drug charges. We were thrilled when Nancy was able to obtain a dismissal on all charges. My son's now back on track with his career. Nancy is the kind of attorney who fights hard for her clients and actually cares about them. I recommend her highly. Shawn M.
Nancy King represented me on a DUI. I was involved in an accident and had a blood alcohol level of .13/.14. Nancy King kept pushing in the negotiation process. She was able to get me a wet reckless. Nancy King is someone you can trust. She knows what she's doing and works hard for her clients. I recommend her highly. D.V.
I was wrongfully targeted by the police for a felony offense. Nancy took care of everything for me and got the police to realize that they had made a mistake. Everything was handled promptly and professionally and I was able to protect my reputation. D.B.