CALCRIM No. 877. Assault With Caustic Chemicals (Pen. Code, § 244)

Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2022 edition)

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877.Assault With Caustic Chemicals (Pen. Code, § 244)
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with (placing/ [or] throwing)
caustic chemicals on someone else [in violation of Penal Code section
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
prove that:
1. The defendant willfully and maliciously (placed[,]/ threw[,]/
caused to be placed[,]/ [or] caused to be thrown) any (caustic
chemical[,]/ corrosive acid[,]/ flammable substance[,]/ [or] vitriol)
on someone else;
2. When the defendant acted, (he/she) intended to injure the flesh of
or disfigure the other person’s body(;/.)
<Give element 3 when instructing on self-defense or defense of another>
3. The defendant did not act (in self-defense/ [or] in defense of
someone else).]
[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
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.
New January 2006
Instructional Duty
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 3 and any
appropriate defense instructions. (See CALCRIM Nos. 3470-3477.)
Elements. Pen. Code, § 244.
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Malicious Defined. Pen. Code, § 7(4).
Willful Defined. Pen. Code, § 7(1); People v. Lara (1996) 44 Cal.App.4th 102,
107 [51 Cal.Rptr.2d 402].
Simple Assault Not a Lesser Included Offense. People v. Warren (1963) 223
Cal.App.2d 798, 801 [36 Cal.Rptr. 127].
Threat of Great Bodily Harm Not Required. People v. Day (1926) 199 Cal. 78,
85-86 [248 P. 250].
Mental State for Assault. People v. Williams (2001) 26 Cal.4th 779, 790 [111
Cal.Rptr.2d 114, 29 P.3d 197].
Although Penal Code section 244 is titled “assault with caustic chemicals,” this
statute does not truly define an assault crime since actual contact with the other
person is required.
1 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Crimes Against the
Person, § 54.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 142, Crimes
Against the Person, § 142.11 (Matthew Bender).
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