In the state of California, assault crimes can have many different classifications and punishments as delineated by the law. One specific type of assault will be summarized in this article: assaulting someone with caustic chemicals. According to California Penal Code 244 PC, “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… is punishable by imprisonment.”
Some individuals actually have permission to work with any of the aforementioned chemicals, but what makes the above action a crime (and not an unfortunate accident) is that the act must have been done in order to injure or disfigure another person. The chemicals in question are most often those that can cause burns or corrosion, are flammable, or are acidic. This includes, but is not limited to, sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, acetic acid, and bases in the hydroxide family. These chemicals must have been intentionally placed onto another person so that they become injured or disfigured, regardless of the extent or injury.
Committing assault on another person with caustic chemicals is a serious crime. The penal code has made it a felony, and it carries severe punishments. If found guilty, the defendant faces up to four years in a state prison and may pay fines. While each case is different, some convicted individuals must also offer restitution and/or undergo therapy or community service. As mentioned previously, there are people who have been trained to handle such dangerous products. Accidents can happen and would then not apply under this specific code, but other laws or lawsuits can still apply.