California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) (2017)

877. Assault With Caustic Chemicals

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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 244].
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.
• 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].
Secondary Sources
1 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Crimes Against the
Person, § 53.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 142,
Crimes Against the Person, § 142.11 (Matthew Bender).
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.
878–889. Reserved for Future Use