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What is the difference between assault and battery?

What is the difference between being charged with assault and being charged with battery? I was arrested for getting into a fight outside of a club and was told I had two charges. Because I have both I'm assuming I'll have a harsher punishment, is this true? Can I get one or both expunged?

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    Peter Goldscheider | Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    438 Cambridge Ave. Suite 250
    Palo Alto, CA 94306
    (650) 323-8296
    The difference between assault and battery is that assault is an attempted battery, and battery itself is an unlawful touching that is intentional, unwanted and is by means of some force, although only minimal force is required. If one is acting in self defense that would be a defense to either charge. Although one can be convicted of both you can only be punished for one of the offenses, each of which carry up to six months in jail. Since there are so many examples of what constitutes a battery it is difficult to predict the punishment in general. Like all misdemeanors you are entitle to an expungment if you complete probation successfully.
    Answer Applies to: California - Replied: 6/7/2013
    Mark A. Broughton | Hammerschmidt Broughton Law
    2445 Capital Street
    Fresno, CA 93721
    (559) 233-5333
    They are essentially the same thing. If you swing to hit somebody but miss, that's an assault. If you swing and hit him, that's a battery. Assault and battery are almost always charged together, but you cannot be punished for both if it involves the same act. There is no such thing as an "expungement" any longer, but you can a measure of relief from the conviction after probation is completed.
    Answer Applies to: California - Replied: 6/5/2013
    Francis John Cowhig | Universal Law Group, Inc.
    430 S. Garfield Avenue
    Alhambra, CA 91801
    (626) 308-9936
    Assault is usually the intent to touch someone offensively with the ability to do so. You do not actually have to touch or strike the person to be charged. Battery is the actual touching/striking of the person. They usually go hand-in-hand, but you can be charged with one and not the other. The penalties are usually the same. Whether or not they can be expunged depends on the jurisdiction and circumstances surrounding the charges.
    Answer Applies to: California - Replied: 6/4/2013
    Jared C. Winter | Law Office of Jared C. Winter
    385 Grand Avenue
    Oakland, CA 94610
    (510) 903-8090
    Sometimes people use the terms "assault" and "battery" interchangeably, but there is a difference. A battery requires a "touching" (i.e., a punch, a slap, spitting, hitting with an object, etc.) An assault does not require a touching. If you wind up to punch someone, but you totally miss, that's just an assault. But if you connect, then it's both an assault and a battery. You will not get additional punishment if you are charged with both. Expungement is possible for both, but expungement only applies if you are convicted. Why not fight your case and avoid the conviction altogether?
    Answer Applies to: California - Replied: 6/4/2013
    Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    74-075 El Paseo, Suite A-14
    Palm Desert, CA 92260
    (760) 779-9666
    A battery is the unlawful touching of another generally in a violent or offensive way. Assault is an attempted battery.
    Answer Applies to: California - Replied: 6/4/2013
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