Are there Any Defenses to Assault in California?
A lot of people get confused when it comes to the crime of assault. Many get it confused with battery. The truth is, most prosecutors charge defendants with both assault and battery. One reason for this is that most assaults end in a battery anyway. If you’re involved in an altercation that ends up with an assault charge, you’ll need legal representation. The best thing to do is call and talk to a California defense lawyer and see what you’re up against. While a misdemeanor charge isn’t that serious, you could be charged with a felony. If that happens you could be facing up to four (4) years in prison and hefty fines. You’ll want to have a strong defense lawyer in your corner.
What’s the Difference Between Assault and Battery?
The different between an assault and battery is rather simple. Legally, an assault is when you threaten or attempt to hurt somebody else. This could involve hitting them with your fists or with an object. When you actually touch them, it turns into a battery. This is why so many defendants are charged with both crimes. Part of the reason for this is that most people don’t file criminal charges if somebody merely threatens them. Usually, it isn’t until somebody is actually attacked that they call the cops.
Are the Charges More Serious if You Use a Weapon?
When somebody threatens to hurt someone (or kill them) with a weapon, the charge is going to likely be a felony. This is called aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. These are the stories that usually make it on the news. When someone is charged with this offense, if convicted, they could be facing many years in prison along with up to $10,000 in fines. Your California defense lawyer will work hard to get the charges dropped or at least reduced. It will depend on the facts of your case, your criminal history and whether or not the victim was seriously injured.
What are the Penalties for an Assault Conviction?
The first thing California defense lawyers hear from their clients is how much jail time they could be facing. If you’re charged with simple assault, you could be looking at up to six (6) months in county jail. You may also be ordered to pay up to $1,000 in fines. If, however, you’re charged with felony assault or aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, you’ll be facing anywhere from two (2) to four (4) years in state prison and fines of up to $10,000.
What Defenses Can Your California Defense Lawyer Raise
The whole reason you hired a California defense lawyer was to avoid a conviction. The easiest way for them to do this is by proving that you never did what they claimed you did. If there’s proof that it was somebody else or that the victim exaggerated their story, this is a possibility. The other option for your attorney is to poke holes in the State’s case. For example, they can demonstrate that you were acting in self-defense. Or they may be able to prove that you have a solid alibi. It all depends on what they can generate from the facts of your case.
Meet with a Seasoned California Defense Lawyer to Hear Your Options
If you’re facing serious assault charges, you need to call an experienced California defense lawyer. If you can reach out to our office from the jail, even better. You’ll have to enter your plea shortly after your arrest. You should have legal representation by your side when this happens.