A California assault charge is defined in the California Penal Code under sections 240 and 241.
Assault is defined under section 240 as an “unlawful attempt, coupled with present ability, to commit a violent injury to the person of another”. Translated into simple terms, it means that if someone attempts to and has a capability of causing violent injury to a person, they may be charged with assault.
The potential penalties for an assault charge fall along a range depending on the specific facts of your case. The sentence will also depend on who was assaulted; a civilian, an officer, school personnel, as well as where the assault took place. Based on these factors the penalty may include a fine up to a thousand ($1,000) dollars and/or up to six months in county jail. The fine may be up to $2,000 when the assault is committed by or upon a peace officer, firefighter, medical technician, nurse, doctor, lifeguard, process server, animal control officer, or traffic officer in the course of his or her duties.