Assault or Battery by Prisoner

Assault or Battery by Prisoner

The sentence for an assault with a deadly weapon or instrument or by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury by a prisoner “undergoing a life sentence” is death or life imprisonment depending on the following:

  1. If the victim dies within a year and a day (i.e., if the offense is actually murder), the offense is punishable by death or life imprisonment without possibility of parole.
  2. If the victim does not die within that period, the punishment is imprisonment for life without possibility of parole for 9 years. 1

The statute applies to assaults outside a prison if the defendant was undergoing a life sentence and was not on parole, probation, or bail pending appeal. 2

The crime applies to a prisoner who is serving a sentence the maximum term of which is life imprisonment and where there is no fixed term. 3

The prisoner's status on the day of the offense is the determining factor. 4

It applies to a prisoner who, at the time of the assault was serving a fixed term sentence to be followed by a consecutive life sentence. 5

Assault by Prisoner for less than Life.Assault by Prisoner for less than Life

When the assault with a deadly weapon likely to produce great bodily injury is committed by a person confined in a state prison for a term less than life the sentence is a consecutive state prison term of 2, 4, or 6 years. 6

Battery by Gassing.

One of the more colorful crimes, or disgusting depending on your particular point of view is Gassing. Apparently this became a problem in prisons to the extent that it evolved into its own criminal act.

It is consider an aggravated battery for a prisoner in a jail or prison to commit the crime of gassing [slinging feces] on a peace officer, a state prison employee or a local detention facility employee; the sentence if charged as a misdemeanor it up to one year in county jail; if charged as a felony the sentence is 2, 3, or 4 years. 7

A person confined in a juvenile facility convicted of the crime as a misdemeanor can serve up to one year in a county jail; If charged as a felony the sentence is imprisonment for 2, 3, or 4 years. 8

To violate the crime a person must intentionally throw or place, “human excrement or other bodily fluids or substances or a mixture containing these substances resulting in actual contact with another person's skin or membranes.”[Yuk] 9

The following is of interest and demonstrates the emphasis placed on the use sophisticated investigative techniques in all forms of crimes, “all reported or suspected batteries by gassing by inmates must be investigated immediately, including, but not limited to, the use of forensically acceptable means to preserve and test the suspected gassing substance.” [I wonder if that includes DNA testing of the purported violator and the product used in the attack to determine a match.☺]

Other requirements are testing for hepatitis and tuberculosis immediately after the attack. Examination or test results must be reported to the officer or employee subject to the attack; I expect that is comforting. 10

Assault or Battery by ConvictAssault or Battery by Convict
  1. A person serving a sentence in a state prison who is convicted of battery against another person who is not a prisoner which is a felony; the sentence is 2 , 3, or 4 years to run consecutive with their present sentence.11
  2. A person serving all or part of a sentence in a county jail or similar facility and is convicted of battery against another who is not a prisoner; the sentence is if charged as a misdemeanor up to one year in the county jail; if charged as a felony imprisonment under P.C. 1170(h).12
  3. A person housed in a juvenile facility who is convicted of an assault with a deadly weapon against another not a prisoner; or a battery with an instrument or by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury; is guilty of a felony the sentence of which is prison for 2, 4, or 6 years.13

1Section 4500 of the California Penal Code

2Section 4500 of the California Penal Code

3(People v. Wells (1949) 33 C.2d 330, 335, 202 P.2d 53; People v. Harmon (1960) 54 C.2d 9, 16, 17, 4 C.R. 161, 351 P.2d 329.)

4(Graham v. Superior Court (1979) 98 C.A.3d 880, 890, 160 C.R. 10; In re Carmichael (1982) 132 C.A.3d 542, 546, 183 C.R. 206

5(People v. Superior Court (Bell) (2002) 99 C.A.4th 1334, 1342, 121 C.R.2d 836.)

6Section 4501 of the California Penal Code.

7Section(s) 243.9(a) [local facility] of the California Penal Code; 4501.1(a) [state prison].

8Section 1768.85(a) of the California Welfare & Institutions Code.

9Sections 243.9(b); 4501.1(b) of the California Penal Code; Section 1768.85(b) of the California Welfare & Institutions Code.

10Sections 243.9(c); 4501.1(c) of the California Penal Code; Section 1768.85(c) of the California Welfare & Institutions Code.

11Section 4501.5 of the California Penal Code.

12Section 4131.5 of the California Penal Code

13Section 1768.8(b) of the California Welfare & Institutions Code