In the State of California, Assault and Battery are two different crimes- battery being the more serious offense of the two.
Assault is defined in the California Penal Code as an “unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.”
In layman’s terms this means that you tried to inflict harm on someone but were unsuccessful. For example, maybe you threw a punch at somebody and missed and they left the situation unharmed.
On the other hand, if you were successful in hitting or hurting the person, you could be charged with battery.
Battery is defined as “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another”.
Battery can encompass any number of acts such as: punching, slapping, kicking and even spitting. It is important to note that a visible injury is not necessary for someone to be charged with battery.