California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) (2017)
861. Assault on Firefighter or Peace Officer With Stun Gun or Taser®Download PDF
861.Assault on Fireﬁghter or Peace Officer With Stun Gun or
Less Lethal Weapon (Pen. Code, §§ 240, 244.5(c))
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with assault with a (stun
gun/ [or] less lethal weapon) on a (ﬁreﬁghter/peace officer) [in violation
of Penal Code section 244.5(c)].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
1. The defendant did an act with a (stun gun/[or] less lethal
weapon) that by its nature would directly and probably result in
the application of force to a person;
2. The defendant did that act willfully;
3. When the defendant acted, (he/she) was aware of facts that
would lead a reasonable person to realize that (his/her) act by its
nature would directly and probably result in the application of
force to someone;
4. When the defendant acted, (he/she) had the present ability to
apply force with a (stun gun/[or] less lethal weapon) to a person;
5. When the defendant acted, the person assaulted was lawfully
performing (his/her) duties as a (ﬁreﬁghter/peace officer);
6. When the defendant acted, (he/she) knew, or reasonably should
have known, that the person assaulted was a (ﬁreﬁghter/peace
officer) who was performing (his/her) duties(;/.)
<Give element 7 when instructing on self-defense or defense of another.>
7. The defendant did not act (in self-defense/ [or] in defense of
[A stun gun is anything, except a less lethal weapon, that is used or
intended to be used as either an offensive or defensive weapon and is
capable of temporarily immobilizing someone by inﬂicting an electrical
[A is a less lethal weapon.]
[ is less lethal ammunition.]
[A less lethal weapon is any device that is either designed to or that has
been converted to expel or propel less lethal ammunition by any action,
mechanism, or process for the purpose of incapacitating, immobilizing,
or stunning a human being through the inﬂiction of any less than lethal
impairment of physical condition, function, or senses, including physical
pain or discomfort. It is not necessary that the weapon leave any lasting
or permanent incapacitation, discomfort, pain, or other injury or
disability in order to qualify as a less lethal weapon.]
[Less lethal ammunition is any ammunition that is designed to be used
in any less lethal weapon or any other kind of weapon, including, but
not limited to, ﬁrearms, pistols, revolvers, shotguns, riﬂes, and spring,
compressed air, and compressed gas weapons. When used in a less lethal
weapon or other weapon, less lethal ammunition is designed to
immobilize or incapacitate or stun a human being by inﬂicting less than
lethal impairment of physical condition, function, or senses, including
physical pain or discomfort.]
Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on
purpose. It is not required that he or she intend to break the law, hurt
someone else, or gain any advantage.
The terms application of force and apply force mean to touch in a
harmful or offensive manner. The slightest touching can be enough if it
is done in a rude or angry way. Making contact with another person,
including through his or her clothing, is enough. The touching does not
have to cause pain or injury of any kind.
[The touching can be done indirectly by causing an object [or someone
else] to touch the other person.]
[The People are not required to prove that the defendant actually
The People are not required to prove that the defendant actually
intended to use force against someone when (he/she) acted.
No one needs to actually have been injured by the defendant’s act. But
if someone was injured, you may consider that fact, along with all the
other evidence, in deciding whether the defendant committed an
assault[, and if so, what kind of assault it was].
[Voluntary intoxication is not a defense to assault.]
[A person who is employed as a police officer by <insert
name of agency that employs police offıcer> is a peace officer.]
[A person employed by <insert name of agency that employs
peace offıcer, e.g., “the Department of Fish and Wildlife”> is a peace
officer if <insert description of facts necessary to make
employee a peace offıcer, e.g., “designated by the director of the agency as
a peace offıcer”>.]
[The duties of a <insert title of offıcer> include
<insert job duties>.]
ASSAULTIVE AND BATTERY CRIMES CALCRIM No. 861
[A ﬁreﬁghter includes anyone who is an officer, employee, or member of
a (governmentally operated (ﬁre department/ﬁre protection or
ﬁreﬁghting agency) in this state/federal ﬁre department/federal ﬁre
protection or ﬁreﬁghting agency), whether or not he or she is paid for
his or her services.]
New January 2006; Revised August 2009, April 2011, February 2012
The court has a sua sponte duty to give an instruction deﬁning the elements of the
If there is sufficient evidence of self-defense or defense of another, the court has a
sua sponte duty to instruct on the defense. Give bracketed element 7 and any
appropriate defense instructions. (See CALCRIM Nos. 3470–3477.)
In addition, the court has a sua sponte duty to instruct on defendant’s reliance on
self-defense as it relates to the use of excessive force. (People v. White (1980) 101
Cal.App.3d 161, 167–168 [161 Cal.Rptr. 541].) If excessive force is an issue, the
court has a sua sponte duty to instruct the jury that the defendant is not guilty of
the offense charged, or any lesser included offense in which lawful performance is
an element, if the defendant used reasonable force in response to excessive force.
(People v. Olguin (1981) 119 Cal.App.3d 39, 46–47 [173 Cal.Rptr. 663].) On
request, the court must instruct that the prosecution has the burden of proving the
lawfulness of the arrest beyond a reasonable doubt. (People v. Castain (1981) 122
Cal.App.3d 138, 145 [175 Cal.Rptr. 651].) If lawful performance is an issue, give
the appropriate portions of CALCRIM No. 2670, Lawful Performance: Peace
Offıcer. In addition, give CALCRIM No. 2672, Lawful Performance: Resisting
Unlawful Arrest With Force, if requested.
The jury must determine whether the alleged victim is a peace officer. (People v.
Brown (1988) 46 Cal.3d 432, 444–445 [250 Cal.Rptr. 604, 758 P.2d 1135].) The
court may instruct the jury on the appropriate deﬁnition of “peace officer” from the
statute (e.g., “a Garden Grove Regular Police Officer and a Garden Grove Reserve
Police Officer are peace officers”). (Ibid.) However, the court may not instruct the
jury that the alleged victim was a peace officer as a matter of law (e.g., “Officer
Reed was a peace officer”). (Ibid.) If the alleged victim is a police officer, give the
bracketed sentence that begins with “A person employed as a police officer.” If the
alleged victim is another type of peace officer, give the bracketed sentence that
begins with “A person employed by.”
The court may give the bracketed sentence that begins, “The duties of a
<insert title . . . .> include,” on request. The court may insert a
description of the officer’s duties such as “the correct service of a facially valid
search warrant.” (People v. Gonzalez (1990) 51 Cal.3d 1179, 1222 [275 Cal.Rptr.
729, 800 P.2d 1159].)
CALCRIM No. 861 ASSAULTIVE AND BATTERY CRIMES
Do not give an attempt instruction in conjunction with this instruction. There is no
crime of “attempted assault” in California. (In re James M. (1973) 9 Cal.3d 517,
519 [108 Cal.Rptr. 89, 510 P.2d 33].)
• Elements. Pen. Code, §§ 240, 244.5.
•Fireﬁghter Deﬁned. Pen. Code, § 245.1.
• Peace Officer Deﬁned. Pen. Code, § 830 et seq.
• Willful Deﬁned. Pen. Code, § 7(1); People v. Lara (1996) 44 Cal.App.4th 102,
107 [51 Cal.Rptr.2d 402].
• Mental State for Assault. People v. Williams (2001) 26 Cal.4th 779, 790 [111
Cal.Rptr.2d 114, 29 P.3d 197].
• Least Touching. People v. Myers (1998) 61 Cal.App.4th 328, 335 [71
Cal.Rptr.2d 518] [citing People v. Rocha (1971) 3 Cal.3d 893, 899–900, fn. 12
[92 Cal.Rptr. 172, 479 P.2d 372]].
• Less Lethal Weapon Deﬁned. Pen. Code, § 16780.
• Less Lethal Ammunition Deﬁned. Pen. Code, § 16770.
1 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Crimes Against the
Person, § 65.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 142,
Crimes Against the Person, § 142.11; Ch. 144, Crimes Against Order,
§ 144.01[j] (Matthew Bender).
LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSES
• Assault. Pen. Code, § 240.
ASSAULTIVE AND BATTERY CRIMES CALCRIM No. 861