I. PC 241.7: Assault on a Juror
PC 241.7: “Any person who is a party to a civil or criminal action in which a jury has been selected to try the case and who, while the legal action is pending or after the conclusion of the trial, commits an assault against any juror or alternate juror who was selected and sworn in that legal action, shall be punished…”
For a person to be convicted of a violation of PC 241.7 the prosecution must show that:
- You committed an assault on a juror;
- At the time of the offense, the juror was engaged in the performance of his or her duties;
- You knew or reasonably should have known that the victim was engaged in the performance of his or her duties.
II. What does this mean?
A juror is a person that is picked to sit on a Jury Trial, in order to decide judgment in a civil case or conviction and acquittals in criminal court. This charge also requires that you are a party to the action. For example, if you are the accused or the Defendant in a criminal case, and commit an assault against a juror on your jury, you can be charged with this criminal offense. This is in addition to the original charge you were on Trial for.
Assault does not require any actual touching. It is simply an attempted battery. If you raise your fist and swing at another person, then only stopping your fist right before their face, then you have committed a Simple Assault. It becomes a violation under PC 241.7 if that person you assaulted was a juror. The crime can happen after your case resolves too, not just when your Jury Trial is happening.
An assault on a juror under PC 241.7 is a wobbler offense. That means this can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor offense. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony offense depends on the specific facts of your case as well as your criminal history. A felony conviction of this charge can send you to State Prison for upwards of 16 months, 2 or 3 years. If you are convicted of this charge as a misdemeanor, you can be sentenced to up to one year in County Jail. You would be required to serve at least 50% of that time in custody. If sentenced to State Prison, you would not be subjected to split sentencing under PC 1170(h), and therefore would actually serve your sentence in State Prison, not in County Jail Prison.
PC 241.7 is a not strike offense under the Three Strikes Law and is not a charge requiring Sex Registration under PC 290. You would likely face a loss, suspension, or revocation of your professional license. You could also face immigration consequences if you are a non-US Citizen living in the United States, since this may be considered an aggravated felony under Federal Law.
IV. Common Defenses
In order to be found guilty, the elements of the crime must be met. This charge can be fought by your Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney by arguing that you either did not commit an assault or that you did not know you were committing an assault against a juror in the performance of their own duties. Failing to show the elements of the crime would mean there is insufficient evidence to prove you guilty of this charge. This crime does not penalize an assault on any person who serves currently on a jury, only if that person is serving on a case you are involved in.
False accusations are not technically considered a “defense” in criminal law. In essence, the defense of false accusations comes from a person who falsely blames you for a crime you did not commit. So in essence, there is a witness that is blaming you for the crime, and you are claiming you are innocent. In many other defenses under California law, you are guilty of the crime, but there is a technical defense that prevents a conviction, different than here. A juror may not like you based on the evidence against you in your pending Jury Trial after hearing the Prosecutor’s evidence against you. They may complain that you attacked them in order to get you in further trouble. Here, you’d argue that the allegations are false, and you are being falsely accused of the crime.
V. Call Today
A criminal conviction can have a devastating impact on your life and your future. Our PC 241.7 Ontario attorney has successfully defended hundreds of people charged with criminal offenses in the Inland Empire. You, or your loved one, cannot take a chance on such a serious charge. The initial consultation is free and we are available to answer your questions 24/7. Call the Inland Empire Criminal Defense today at 909-939-7126! Located in Ontario, CA.