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Assault with Intent to Commit a Felony - Penal Code 220 PC

Review of the Crime of PC 220 Assault With Intent to Commit a Felony

The crime assault with intent to commit another felony is described under California Penal Code 220. This statute covers assaulting someone with the intent to commit a serious sex crime.

Assault with Intent to Commit a Felony - California Penal Code 220 PC
PC 220 assault with intent to commit a felony is normally filed in addition to the underlying sex crime.

Assault is defined as applying force on another person when the contact is harmful or offensive, which includes even slight contact that does not cause any pain.  

Common examples of an assault on someone include:

  • grabbing,
  • pushing,
  • punching,
  • shoving, or
  • slapping.

Penal Code 220 PC deals with scenarios where a defendant is in the process of committing, or attempting to commit, a wide range of felony crimes and while doing so, they commit a physical assault on the body of someone else.   

PC 220 is not typically filed by itself, rather the prosecutor will file this statute with another underlying charge. If convicted, it's punishable by:

  • Up to six years in jail and a fine;
  • If the victim was a minor involving a felony sex crime, you are facing up to nine years in a California state prison.

For additional information, our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers are reviewing the law below.

What is the Definition of PC 220 Under California Law?

California Penal Code 220 PC defines this sexual-related offense as:

  • (a) (1) any person who assaults another with intent to commit mayhem, rape, sodomy, oral copulation, or any violation of Penal Code Section 264.1, 288, or 289.

It's worth noting California's definition of assault which is any unprivileged, nonconsensual touching. 

It is not required that the assault victim sustained any type of injury. In fact, even a slight touch committed without consent will qualify as an assault.   

An assault could also be committed indirectly, such as throwing something and hitting the victim, or striking them with a bat. Physical contact between both the victim's body and aggressor is not required.

The victim's clothes also count as a part of their body in the context of this statute.

Related crimes include Penal Code 240 PC assault, Penal Code 242 PC battery, and Penal Code 236 PC false imprisonment.

California Felony Crimes Covered Under Penal Code 220 PC

The list of California felony crimes a defendant must intend to commit an assault in question to be prosecuted under this statute include:

Penal Code 261 PC – rape,

Penal Code 264.1 PC - gang rape,

Penal Code 203 PC – mayhem,

Penal Code 286 PC – sodomy,

Penal Code 262 PC – spousal rape,

Penal Code 264.1 PC – rape in concert,

Penal Code 261.5 PC – statutory rape,

Penal Code 288 PC – lewd acts with a minor,

Penal Code 288a PC – oral copulation by force,

Penal Code 289 PC - forcible penetration with a foreign object.

What are the Penalties for PC 220?

If you are convicted of violating California Penal Code 220 PC, assault with intent to commit another felony, the penalties are severe.

What are the Penalties for PC 220?
Penal Code 220 PC is always a felony crime and punishable by up six years in a California state prison.

PC 220 is always a felony offense that can't be reduced to a misdemeanor. If the victim was over 18 years old, the penalties include:

  • two, four, or six years in a California state prison.

If the victim was under the age of 18 at the time when they were assaulted, the penalties increase to:

  • five, seven, or nine years in a California state prison.

Special sentencing enhancement 

Penal Code Section 220(b) provides for a special sentencing enhancement. If a defendant committed a first-degree residential burglary with intent to commit rape, sodomy, or copulation, they will face a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole. 

This is the “home invasion” scenario and an aggravating factor that could lead to a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole. The elements of the crimes are listed under CALCRIM 890 California criminal jury instructions. 

How Can I Fight Assault to Commit a Felony Charges?

If you were accused of a Penal Code 220 offense, we can use a variety of strategies in an attempt to obtain the best possible outcome. Several defense apply:

  • accidental touching,
  • assault not committed for other felony.

In order to be convicted, the prosecutor has to prove you had intent to commit and assault.

Accidental touching 

Perhaps we can make an argument the nonconsensual touching was accidental. If we can create reasonable doubt, you should be able to avoid a PC 220 conviction.

Assault not to commit listed felony offense 

You must commit the assault in furtherance of the attempt to commit one of the enumerated felonies listed above.

Perhaps we can prove your intent was not to commit one of listed crimes when the assault occurred.   

If you or a family member was charged with violating California Penal Code 220 PC, assault with intent to commit a felony, contact our experienced team of criminal defense attorneys for an immediate consultation.

How Can I Fight California Assault to Commit a Felony Charges?
Contact our law firm for an immediate case review.

Our law firm to protect your rights while planning a strategy for best possible outcome on your sex crime case.

In some cases, we might be able to negotiate with the prosecutor for reduced charges or even get the case dismissed.

In addition, through a process known as prefiling intervention, it might be possible to avoid the formal filing of criminal charges.

Eisner Gorin LLP has two office locations in LA County and represent clients throughout Southern California.

Our LA office is located at 1999 Avenue of the Stars, 11th Fl., Los Angeles, CA 90067.

Contact our firm for a consultation at (877) 781-1570.

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