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Assault Conviction Reversed: Injuries Not Based on Different Acts

People v. Serrano Docket: F080692 (Fifth Appellate District), Opinion Date: April 25, 2022. Defendant was charged with the following counts: 1.) dissuasion of a victim by threat of force, 2.) criminal threats, 3.) assault with a deadly weapon, and 4.) infliction of corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition on a victim. The jury found Defendant guilty of counts 1, 2 and 4. Additionally, the jury found Defendant guilty of simple assault, as a lesser included offense of assault with a deadly weapon. Defendant appealed his convictions for counts 1 and 3. The Fifth Appellate District affirmed Defendant's conviction for dissuasion of a victim by threat of force, determining that the trial court erred when it instructed the jury on the single count of dissuasion of a victim by threat of force by leaving out the malice requirement. However, the court's error was harmless. The Fifth Appellate District reversed Defendant's conviction for simple assault, finding that simple assault is a lesser included offense of dissuasion of a victim by threat of force. In so doing, the court rejected the government's argument that Defendant's convictions for misdemeanor assault and infliction of corporal injury were based on different acts.




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