CALCRIM No. 901. Assault on Custodial Officer (Pen. Code, §§ 240, 241.1)

Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2023 edition)

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901.Assault on Custodial Officer (Pen. Code, §§ 240, 241.1)
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with assault on a custodial
officer [in violation of Penal Code section 241.1].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
prove that:
1. The defendant did an act 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
4. When the defendant acted, (he/she) had the present ability to
apply force to a person;
5. When the defendant acted, the person assaulted was lawfully
performing (his/her) duties as a custodial officer;
6. When the defendant acted, (he/she) knew, or reasonably should
have known, both that the person assaulted was a custodial
officer and that (he/she) was performing (his/her) duties as a
custodial officer(;/.)
<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
someone else).]
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
touched someone.]
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.]
Acustodial officer is someone who works for a law enforcement agency
of a city or county, is responsible for maintaining custody of prisoners,
and helps operate a local detention facility. [A (county jail/city jail/
<insert other detention facility>) is a local detention facility.]
[A custodial officer is not a peace officer.]
New January 2006; Revised April 2011
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 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].) If lawful
performance is an issue, give the appropriate portions of CALCRIM No. 2671,
Lawful Performance: Custodial Offıcer.
In the bracketed definition of “local detention facility,” do not insert the name of a
specific detention facility. Instead, insert a description of the type of detention
facility at issue in the case. (See People v. Flood (1998) 18 Cal.4th 470, 482 [76
Cal.Rptr.2d 180, 957 P.2d 869] [jury must determine if alleged victim is a peace
officer]; see Penal Code section 6031.4 [defining local detention facility].)
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, 521-522 [108 Cal.Rptr. 89, 510 P.2d 33].)
Elements. Pen. Code, §§ 240, 241.1.
Custodial Officer Defined. Pen. Code, § 831.
Local Detention Facility Defined. Pen. Code, § 6031.4.
Willful Defined. Pen. Code, § 7, subd. 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]].
1 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Crimes Against the
Person, §§ 72-74.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 142, Crimes
Against the Person, § 142.11 (Matthew Bender).

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