Service & Results.

nyc criminal lawyers over 30 years of experienceWe Know How To Win Cases

Spodek Law Group handles tough cases
nationwide, that demand excellence.

Get Free Consultation

Faced 5+ Years in Prison

People Vs Joseph Amico

Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.

Faced 10+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Anna Sorokin

Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.

Faced 3+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Genevieve Sabourin

Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.

Faced Potential Charges

Ghislaine Maxwell Juror

Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.

Why Choose Us

Clients can use our portal to track the status of their case, stay in touch with us, upload documents, and more.

Regardless of the type of situation you're facing, our attorneys are here to help you get quality representation.

We can setup consultations in person, over Zoom, or over the phone to help you. Bottom line, we're here to help you win your case.

Law in the Media

View All

Meet Todd Spodek


The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

Why Clients Choose Spodek Law Group

The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

If you have a legal issue, call us for a consultation.
We are available 24/7, to help you with any – and all, challenges you face.

Is Assault a Misdemeanor or a Felony?

By Spodek Law Group | February 13, 2023

Understanding Assault Laws in California

Defining Simple Assault in California

Assault in California is defined as the unlawful attempt to commit a violent injury on someone else, coupled with the present ability to do so. It’s important to note that assault and battery are actually two separate crimes, as defined by Penal Code 242 PC. While assault is the attempt to commit a violent injury, battery involves the actual use of force or violence against someone else.

Examples of Assault

Assault can take many forms, including throwing an object at someone, swinging at someone in an attempt to hit them, or even threatening violence. Some examples of assault include a woman throwing a drink at a man who propositioned her, a man swinging at a stranger during a fight over a parking space, or teenagers throwing rocks at a neighbor while she’s gardening in her yard.

Penalties for Assault in California

Simple assault is considered a misdemeanor offense in California, punishable by up to six months in county jail and a fine of up to $1000. In more serious cases, such as assault on a law enforcement officer or emergency personnel, felony charges may be filed.

Being charged with assault in California can be a scary experience, even if no one was actually injured. Fortunately, there are several legal defenses that can be used to fight these charges. Some of the most powerful defenses include arguing that you didn’t have the ability to inflict force or violence, acting in self-defense or defense of someone else, or showing that you were falsely accused.

Other Crimes Associated with Assault in California

Assault charges may also be accompanied by other charges, such as battery causing serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, disturbing the peace, assault on a public official, assault with caustic chemicals, or throwing an object at a motor vehicle.

Filing a Civil Lawsuit for Assault

Victims of assault in California can file a civil lawsuit to recover damages for any injuries or damages they suffered as a result of the assault. However, it’s important to note that a civil lawsuit is separate from any criminal charges that may be filed against the perpetrator.
If you’re facing assault charges in California, it’s important to work with a criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options. With the right legal strategy, you may be able to avoid or reduce the penalties associated with a conviction for assault.

Elements of California Assault

California Penal Code 240 PC defines assault, which sets out the legal definition of the crime. To be found guilty of this offense, the prosecutor must prove four elements:

An act was done that would probably result directly in the application of force to someone else.
The act was done willfully.
When the act was done, the person was aware that it would directly and probably result in the application of force to that person.
The person had the present ability to apply force to that person.

Application of Force

The definition of “application of force” includes any harmful or offensive touching. Even the slightest touch counts if it is done in a rude or offensive manner. It doesn’t have to be direct either, as it can be done indirectly by causing an object to touch the victim. California assault can occur even if the touching involved did not or could not cause any injury.

Example: Scott loses his temper and spits in the store clerk’s face, which may count as assault under California law even if there was no chance of injury.


A person acts “willfully” when they do something willingly or on purpose. The intention to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage is not necessary.

Example: Ricardo is arrested for assault when he tickles Professor Blume on purpose as part of his fraternity initiation process.

Aware That the Act Might Lead to the Application of Force

For California assault laws to apply, a person does not have to intend to use force against the victim. They only need to be aware that, under the circumstances, there was a good chance their actions would lead to force being applied.

Example: Keith fires his gun at Greg’s truck while Greg is standing near the driver’s side door and Greg’s son is getting into the car on the passenger side. Although Keith did not intend to injure them, he is guilty of assault because he was aware that there was a good chance of one of them being injured by the gun.

Assault vs. Battery

Many people confuse the difference between assault and battery, as they are often used together. However, California assault and California battery are completely different offenses. The significant difference is that assault is an action that may inflict physical harm or unwanted touching, whereas battery is the actual infliction of force or violence.

If you are facing assault charges or have been the victim of assault, it is crucial to seek legal advice from an experienced criminal defense lawyer. An attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process and protect your rights.

What Happens if You’re Convicted of Assault in California?

Understanding the Penalties for Assault in California

Assault in California is considered a misdemeanor offense, and the penalties for a conviction may include up to six months in county jail, a fine of up to $1000, or summary probation.

Increased Penalties for Assault on Certain Professionals

If the victim of the assault belongs to certain professional categories, such as peace officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, or doctors providing emergency medical care, the penalties may be even steeper. In such cases, the maximum county jail sentence can increase to one year, and the maximum fine can increase to $2000.

To fight charges of assault in California, a criminal defense attorney may be able to use legal defenses such as arguing that the defendant did not have the ability to inflict force or violence, acting in self-defense or defense of others, showing that the defendant did not act willfully or with the required intent, or demonstrating that the defendant was falsely accused.

Ability to Inflict Force or Violence

One of the elements of California assault is the defendant’s ability to inflict force on the victim. If the defendant did not have that ability, then he or she may not be guilty of assault.

Self-Defense or Defense of Others

The legal defense of self-defense or defense of others may apply to assault charges if the defendant reasonably believed that he or someone else was in imminent danger of bodily injury or unlawful touching and used no more force than was reasonably necessary to defend against that danger.

No Willful Intent to Use Force

If the defendant did not willfully attempt to use force against someone else, then he or she may not be guilty of assault. This defense may apply in cases where the defendant’s actions were accidental or the result of a misunderstanding.

Falsely Accused

Because assault charges do not require an actual injury, it is possible for someone to falsely accuse another person of assault out of anger, jealousy, or a desire for revenge. A criminal defense attorney can help gather evidence and interview witnesses to ensure that the true story comes out.
If you’re facing assault charges in California, it’s important to work with a criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options. With the right legal strategy, you may be able to avoid or reduce the penalties associated with a conviction for assault.

Free Consultation


I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

5 Stars
It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything was explained and any concerns...

~A G

5 Stars
After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

~George Cherubini

Spodek Law Group

White Glove Service

We Provide Superior Service, Excellent Results, At A Level Superior To Other Criminal Defense Law Firms. Regardless Of Where Your Case Is, Nationwide, We Can Help You.
View More

Request Free Consultation

Please fill out the form below to receive a free consultation, we will respond to
your inquiry within 24-hours guaranteed.


85 Broad St 30th Floor, New York, NY 10004


get directions

Los Angeles

611 S Catalina St Suite 222, Los Angeles, CA 90005


get directions


35-37 36th St, 2nd Floor Astoria, NY 11106


get directions


195 Montague St., 14th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201


get directions
Call Now!