With a hose in hand, we’ve all had the impulse to squirt someone with water, whether it was for amusement or because they were grating on our nerves. However, you should know there can be legal repercussions if you aim your hose at someone else, even if you don’t cause any physical injury.
Even spraying someone with a hose may be prohibited in our litigious society, depending on the situation. It is battery to spray someone with a hose against their will. If you spray someone after threatening to do so, that may be assault and battery.
In our guide, you can learn more about threatening to spray someone with water or wetting them without talking to them first. By the end, you can find more on the answer, and that you could require legal professionals in some regions and not others and is spraying water considered assault. (Read Propane Won’t Flow In Cold Weather)
Is It Against the Law to Spray Someone With Water?
As we previously showed, the victim of water spray has the legal right to take you to court for battery, and the court may impose the punishment on the perpetrator. The circumstances behind the matter of anybody being sprayed are irrelevant.
When someone is taken to court for spraying water on another person, a variety of things are likely to occur.
To name a few of these:
1. You can be arrested:
Once the report is made to the police, you could be arrested, just like John, who was arrested and was later sentenced to a 3-month good behavior bond with a fine of $300 on each charge of spraying both his neighbor and boyfriend.
2. You may pay a fine:
Since the person was seen as offensive and physical contact was sort of made toward the victim, the assailant may be asked to pay a fine as high as $500 if there’s proof of the attack.
3. You could face a mandatory visit:
Some people may randomly spray somebody with a hose, which makes the victim wonder if the perpetrator is mentally stable. As a result, in addition to their sentence, the individual might also be required to spend some time seeing a mental health professional. Remembering that there must be evidence before the court may find the attacker guilty of spraying someone with water is crucial.
If you are the target of a spray attack, you may also request that a legal representative (such as a police officer) inform the perpetrator of their improper conduct.
Using a hose to spray someone is also not an advised answer. Remember that everyone is subject to the law, and if you are found to be breaking the law, you may also be taken to court. If you had been drinking alcohol, then the outcome could differ.
Note: If the authorities decide there is physical assault, you could face up to six months in jail.
What is California Assault Law
Assault is “an unlawful effort, coupled with a present ability, to cause a violent injury on the person of another,” according to Penal Code §240 PC. Simple assault is a misdemeanor with a 6-month prison sentence and a $1,000 fine.
As defined in Penal Code 242 PC, assault and battery are separate crimes. Battery involves using unlawful force or violence against another person (as opposed to just an attempt to do so).
- A woman throws the glass carrying her drink at a man after he inappropriately proposes to her at a pub.
- A man swings at a stranger fighting over a parking place, but the stranger ducks and avoids being hit.
- 240 PC California misdemeans simple assault. Section 4 discusses felony assault in more severe circumstances.
- Most California assault prosecutions carry a $1,000 fine and six months in county prison.
You could be convicted of California assault even if no one was injured. PC 240 charges hit too many persons with no criminal record who never imagined they were breaking the law. (Read What Size Lag Bolts For Deck Posts)
You can defend these charges with formidable defenses:
- You weren’t genuinely able to use force or violence on the other individual;
- You were acting in self-defense and took action to protect yourself or someone else;
- You did not behave deliberately or necessarily; and
- You were accused in error.
How does California law define simple assault?
The legal definition of assault in California is provided by California Penal Code 240 PC. The following are the “elements” of the crime of assault if found guilty of committing this crime:
- You took action that, by its very nature, would very certainly end in the use of force against another person.
- There was a sign you made that choice knowingly
- You knew at the time of the act that would have caused a reasonable person to assume that the act would very certainly result in the use of force against that person
- There was a sign you could use force on that person at the time you acted to cause them to become injured.
What is the difference between assault and battery?
Since we frequently use the phrase “assault & battery,” which implies that they are the same thing, many individuals struggle to understand the difference between assault and battery. California battery and assault are two very separate crimes. There is a significant difference between these two:
- Criminal Code 240 assault is a behavior that could result in another person receiving physical hurt or unwelcome attention, and
- Criminal Code 242 The actual use of force or violence against another person is known as battery.
One answer, according to a criminal defense lawyer:
An assault does not always involve any actual physical contact, whereas a battery does. This is the main difference between the two. Similarly, a battery is like a “finished assault,” whereas an assault is like an “attempted battery.”
The maximum fine for assault also increases to two thousand dollars ($2,000) if the victim is a parking control officer engaged in performing his/her duties—for obvious reasons, a common potential target of assault. (Learn How To Repair Water Damaged Particle Board Cabinets)
How does a person answer these charges in defense in court?
Nobody wants to serve time in county jail, pay a fine, or have their record stained by an “assault” conviction. When you use that word, people might assume you are a violent individual, yet you might be found guilty of assault for actions that have little to do with violence.
- You and your criminal defense lawyer might be able to use some or all of the following legal defenses to defeat assault charges in California:
- You lacked the power to use force or violence.
- The ability of the defendant to use force against the “victim” is one of the requirements for California assault. If that capability was absent, the person is not guilty of assault.
- You took action in self-defense to protect yourself or others.
- When all of the following are true, the legal defense of self-defense/defense of others can be used to defend against assault accusations (as well as other crimes):
- You reasonably believed that either you or another person was in immediate danger of becoming hurt physically or being touched improperly;
- To defend against the such threat, you reasonably believed that the use of force as self-defense was required immediately; and
- To defend against that danger, you only employed as much force as was reasonably required.
Even the most outrageous words cannot justify an assault on their own. Only if you reasonably believed that someone was in danger of unlawful touching, harm or physical injury can you assert self-defense or the defense of others.
You didn’t behave with the necessary intent or willfully.
PC 240 assault does not apply if you did not “willfully” attempt to use force against another person.
- For example, it’s possible that your acts were unintentional, the product of a misunderstanding, or that the alleged “victim” mistook them for something else.
- If this is the case, you can ensure that the police, prosecution, and jury are given the full story by working with your criminal defense attorney.
- Imagine you were falsely charged.
It is all too simple for one person to falsely accuse another of assault out of retaliation, resentment, or fury because Penal Code 240 PC does not require that the purported victim experience an actual injury.
A county jail sentence of up to six (6) months and/or a fine of up to two thousand dollars ($2,000) are possible penalties for the misdemeanor crime of battery.
However, you would be subject to harsher punishments under Penal Code 242(d) PC for battery causing serious bodily injury if the victim is genuinely seriously hurt.
According to California law, this offense is a wobbler, meaning it might be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony.
Battery causing serious physical injury in California carries a sentence of two, three, or four years in prison if it is prosecuted as a felony. (Read Can You Spray Paint In The Cold)
Assault with a deadly weapon under PC 245(a)(1)
You will undoubtedly be prosecuted with Penal Code 245(a)(1) PC assault with a deadly weapon if it is claimed that you attacked someone with a deadly weapon (such as a gun or knife) or another form of force likely to cause great bodily injury.
It could be a matter of opinion that taking the offensive and you committed the act of, imagine spraying a woman or other person with water for stepping on your property, if this is battery? If spraying them caused them to fall over, the answers may differ.
Vehicle Code 23110 VC throwing objects at a motor vehicle on a public street
Prosecutors may decide to try a defendant under this law rather than California’s assault law in cases when the circumstances warrant it. You can be found guilty of this offense even if there was no probability that the object you threw would hit the vehicle or its occupants.
In contrast to assault, throwing an object at a moving vehicle does not require that the defendant be now capable of applying force on the victim. In most cases, VC 23110 is a misdemeanor. If the defendant meant to do great bodily harm and the object they threw was dangerous enough to cause serious injury; it turns into a crime.
Not Guilty On Hose Spraying
A city woman was found not guilty of simple assault after a trial for spraying her roommate with water from a garden hose. Initially, a Class A misdemeanor count of simple assault led to the woman’s arrest by police at the county jail.
The offense carries a maximum fine of $2,000 and a potential sentence of up to a year in county prison. By spraying them with water during an argument, she allegedly caused “unprivileged contact” with her three-year roommate.
When the accused’s attorney stated that “squirting someone with a garden hose should not lead to a criminal conviction,” the accused disputed the accusation in court. The attorney said he recently visited a relative, who was splashed by his nephew using a squirt gun with water.
The attorney stated he believed the youngster was fortunate to reside where he did since he may be arrested because of the laws if he were in this area. During a violent fight, the victim followed the accused into the garden. The accused blasted the roommate with the hose after asking to be left alone.
Note: Following the third hose-spraying, the victim was found to have genuinely gripped the accused’s face with his hands in a separate hearing. In response to the police accusation of “unprivileged contact,” the court heard during closing arguments that the roommates of three years domestic arrangement had “implied consent” between them.
Spraying someone with a hose is not against the law when the two people are buddies.