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Penal Code 244: Assault with Caustic Chemicals Laws in California

PC 244: Assault with Caustic Chemicals

Legal Definition:

PC 244: “Any person who willfully and maliciously places or throws, or causes to be placed or thrown, upon the person of another, any vitriol, corrosive acid, flammable substance, or caustic chemical of any nature, with the intent to injure the flesh or disfigure the body of that person, is punishable…”

For a person to be convicted of a violation of PC 244 the prosecution must show that:

1. You willfully and maliciously placed/threw/caused to be placed/caused to be thrown any caustic chemical/corrosive acid/flammable substance/vitriol on someone else;

2. When you acted, you intended to injure or disfigure the flesh of the other person’s body;


3. You did not act in self-defense or defense of someone else.

What does this mean?

A flammable substance includes gasoline, petroleum products, or flammable liquids with a flashpoint of 150 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose. Someone acts maliciously when he or she intentionally does a wrongful act or when he or she acts with the unlawful intent to disturb, defraud, annoy, or injure someone else.

A caustic chemical is generally any substance that can burn or corrode “living tissue”. Vitriol, for example, refers to sulfuric acid and related compounds.


An assault using caustic chemicals is a felony offense. If you are convicted of this charge, you can be sentenced to upwards of 2, 3, or 4 years in a State Prison. You would be required to serve at least 50% of that time in custody. You would also be subject to a fine of up to $10,000 for a conviction of this offense. PC 244 is a strike offense under the Three Strikes Law but 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, and is also a crime of moral turpitude.

Common Defenses

1. Statute of Limitations

2. Insufficient Evidence

3. Violation of Rights

4. Self Defense

If you did not intend to injure the other person or cause permanent disfigurement, you Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney can argue that there is insufficient evidence to prove you guilty of the crime. An example can be if you have the caustic chemicals but do not know of their nature, you likely would not intend the result, without understanding the chemicals could harm another person. In that case, you cannot have maliciously intended to because you lack the intent to cause harm to the other person.

In California, you are allowed to use force against another person if you reasonably believe that you must use force to defend yourself against the threat of immediate harm. In other words, if you are threatened with an attack, you have the right to defend yourself, and fight back. The amount of force you can use to defend must be reasonable in relation to the threatened harm. If you use the caustic chemicals to defend yourself from a person doing the same to you, it would act as a defense to the charge under PC 244.

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Facing a felony charge under PC 244, which pertains to assault with a caustic chemical or flammable substance, carries severe consequences that extend well beyond the courtroom. A conviction not only labels you as a felon but also strips you of fundamental rights, such as the lifelong ability to own or possess firearms. This permanent mark on your record can close many doors, impacting your future opportunities and freedoms.

At Inland Empire Criminal Defense in Ontario, CA, we specialize in defending individuals accused of serious offenses, including those charged under PC 244. Our experienced attorney has a proven track record of successfully navigating the complexities of such charges, providing our clients with the robust defense they need in these pivotal moments.

Why Choose Inland Empire Criminal Defense for PC 244 Charges?

  • Expert Defense: Our PC 244 Ontario attorney brings extensive experience to the table, having successfully defended hundreds of individuals in the Inland Empire against serious criminal charges.
  • Comprehensive Support: We understand the stakes and are dedicated to offering you personalized, comprehensive legal assistance, ensuring that every aspect of your case is thoroughly addressed.
  • Accessible Guidance: Knowing the importance of timely and informed decisions, we offer 24/7 availability to answer your questions and provide guidance throughout your legal journey.

Take Action Today to Protect Your Future

If you or someone close to you faces charges under PC 244, immediate action is critical. Securing knowledgeable and experienced legal representation can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.

Contact Inland Empire Criminal Defense Now

Don’t let a felony charge define your future. Reach out to Inland Empire Criminal Defense at 909-939-7126 for a free initial consultation. Our dedicated team is here to provide the aggressive defense and comprehensive support you need to navigate this challenging time. Our Ontario office is strategically located to serve clients throughout the Inland Empire, ensuring that expert legal help is always within reach.

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely, Inland Empire Criminal Defense prioritizes your privacy and confidentiality. Every consultation with our attorney is conducted with the utmost discretion, ensuring your information remains secure and private.

Yes, understanding the financial pressures that can come with legal representation, our attorney offers flexible payment plans. This approach ensures that quality legal defense is accessible for all our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Yes, Inland Empire Criminal Defense offers free consultations. This is part of our commitment to providing accessible and transparent legal services to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

We offer both in-person and over-the-phone consultations to accommodate your preferences and needs. Whether you’re in Riverside, San Bernardino, or Los Angeles County, we ensure that you can access our legal services in the way that suits you best.

Our office is typically closed on weekends. However, we do make exceptions for meetings by special arrangement. Our commitment is to be as accommodating as possible to meet the unique needs of our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Our legal services are specifically tailored to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties. For cases outside these areas, we recommend consulting to find appropriate legal assistance. Our focused approach allows us to provide specialized defense catering to the unique legal landscape of these counties.

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