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Penal Code 245.5 PC Assault on a School Employee

Mar 17, 2021 | California

California law criminalizes the act of conducting “assault” and defines it as an unlawful attempt of a person to commit a violent injury to someone when there was a high ability to commit this injury.

Teachers and other school employees enjoy high protection under state legislation. As such, California Penal Code section 245.5 PC is makes it a crime to assault of a school employee.

Who is Considered a “Victim” Under Penal Code Section 245.5 PC?

Under Penal Code section 245.5 PC the victim is the “school employee”. A victim is considered a school employee if he or she is a permanent or probationary employee. This includes both full-time or part-time, including teachers, substitute teachers, and other administrative employees. For example, school bust drivers also fall under “school employees”.

What are the Elements of Penal Code 245.5 PC?

To be found guilty under PC 245.5, the prosecution must prove that:

  • You willfully and unlawfully touched a school employee in a harmful or offensive manner;
  • When you acted, the school employee was performing their duties as a school employee
  • When you acted, you knew or reasonably should have known, that the person unlawfully touched was a school employee

The School Employee Must Be Performing His or Her Duties At the Time the Offense Occured

In order to be charged and convicted under this offense, the school employee must be performing his or her employment duties at the time the offense took place. Thus, in the event the assault occurs in the evening when the teacher was walking in the park with his dog, a defendant cannot be charged with Penal Code section 245.5.

What is Penal Code 245.5 PC?

Penal Code 245.5 PC makes it a crime to assault a school employee with a deadly weapon, a firearm, or a stun gun or taser or by any other means likely to produce great bodily injury upon the person of a school employee. Penal Code 245.5 PC can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony.

Penalties for a Penal Code Section 245.5 PC Conviction

Penalties for a 245.5 PC conviction vary depending on what type of weapon was used during the assault.

Deadly Weapon Other Than a Firearm

If the defendant used a deadly weapon, other than a firearm, the penalties include imprisonment in the state prison for 3, 4 or a maximum of 5 years of imprisonment in jail for up to one year.


If the defendant used a firearm while conducting the assault, the penalties include imprisonment in state prison for 4,6 or 8 years of imprisonment in jail for up to one year.

Stun Gun or a Taser

In the event the defendant used a stun gun or a taser, the penalties include imprisonment in state prison for 2, 3, or 4 years of imprisonment in a country jail for up to one year.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

It is essential to consult with a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney to try to mitigate the punishment for the commitment of the assault. We invite you to contact our criminal defense attorney today at 310-933-5171 for a free consultation and case review.