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Someone facing simple assault charges under Penal Code section 240 in San Leandro will likely have his or her case heard at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse. However, if it is a juvenile case, then it is going to be heard at the Juvenile Justice Center in San Leandro.

Penal Code section 240 Simple Assault is a criminal offense that could result in penalties that include, but are not limited to, county jail time and fines. If you were accused of attempting or threatening to cause someone physical harm, you should consider working with an experienced criminal defense attorney from the area.

How is Simple Assault Classified in San Leandro?

Under California Penal Code Section 240, simple assault occurs when somebody willfully applies force to another person or otherwise causes the other person to reasonably believe that he or she was at risk of physical harm. For example, if someone attempts to strike or threatens to strike someone else, that could be grounds for a simple assault charge. There are multiple instances where a simple assault can convert to a more serious offense.


An assault typically occurs when someone attempts to inflict harm on another person with the ability to carry out the act. For example, if someone attempts to punch someone but misses, an assault occurs but the crime would not be classified as battery because no actual force or violence was inflicted on the person. If actual physical contact is made, without consent, the unwanted touching would amount to a battery under Penal Code section 242.  If injuries occur and those injuries are severe the act could even be charged as a felony battery under Penal Code section 243(d) which is a strike offense and punishable by up to four years in state prison.

Assault with a deadly weapon under Penal Code section 245(a)(1) and assault with force likely to cause GBI (great bodily injury) under Penal Code section 245(a)(4) are assault crimes that are commonly charged as felonies.  These crimes do not require actual physical contact – the underlying simple assault coupled with the extra element of a deadly weapon or force likely to produce great bodily injury can evolve a misdemeanor to more severe conduct. It is critical to consult with an attorney – crimes that began as a simple assault can quickly escalate to serious or violent strike felonies.

Criminal Threats

PC 422 – Criminal threats is a statute that has several different elements that, if proven, can result in a felony or misdemeanor conviction. Under Penal Code Section 422, criminal threats involve one individual placing another individual in fear by making threatening statements to him or her. The intent here is to cause fear and the receiving party must actually experience a reasonable fear that the threat is so unequivocal and specific that there is an immediate prospect of execution. Once again the act of a simple assault coupled with particularly specific conduct can escalate quickly and increase penalties and exposure.

Penalties for a Simple Assault Offense

In San Leandro and throughout the state of California, the penalties for a simple assault offense depends on whether the person is charged with a misdemeanor or felony. For a misdemeanor offense, the person will be facing a maximum of sic months in county jail; however, if the conduct warrants a felony charge, a conviction could lead to state prison time, a strike, and other severe terms.

In California, prison time works in a three-tier system. Depending on different aggravators and mitigators, a judge will make a decision at sentence what term – low, mid, or high – applies to the offense and sentence the defendant accordingly.

However, even a misdemeanor could have other consequences in addition to incarceration. For instance, a conviction of a misdemeanor simple assault charge could result in stay away orders, search and seizure waivers, probation, fines, and even counseling (such as anger management).

Call a San Leandro Attorney for Help Defending Against Assault Charges

If you are facing assault charges in San Leandro, it is highly important to get in touch with an experienced defense attorney in the area. A local legal representative could investigate the facts of your charge and help you build a strong defense against these accusations.

To learn more about what skilled legal representation could do for you, call our office, and book a case review. Your first consultation is always free.

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