Assault & Battery in California
Assault (Penal Code § 240) is a misdemeanor crime. In order to obtain a conviction, the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intentionally did something that would likely cause physical force to impact another person, you were aware of the likely result of your action, and had the ability to impact that individual with physical force.
In order to obtain a conviction for assault, it is not necessary that you actually struck another person or even made physical contact with them. It is not even necessary for the other person to sustain an injury.
Battery (Penal Code § 242) is also a misdemeanor crime. In order to obtain a conviction, the prosecutor has to prove that you you intentionally applied force against another person or used violence against them.
In addition to these charges under California law, there are more specific versions of assault and battery. These include:
- assault with a deadly weapon that would likely result in great bodily injury (Penal Code § 245(a)(1),
- assault with an assault weapon (Penal Code § 245(a)(3),
- assault with a stun gun or a less lethal weapon (Penal Code § 244.5(b)),
- battery with serious bodily injury (Penal Code § 243),
- battery against spouse, etc. (Penal Code § 243(e)(1),
- sexual battery (Penal Code § 243.4),
- battery on a police officer - (Penal Code 243b and 243c PC).
Many Assault and aggravated assault charges are considered serious and violent crimes by the law enforcement agencies. They include:
- Assault causing bodily harm
- Assaulting a police officer
- Assault with a deadly weapon, such as a knife, gun or blunt instrument
- Withholding of sustenance for the survival of your spouse & children
In the state of California the fines and penalties for violent crimes range from fines up to $2,000, jail time up to a year or longer, possibly 6 months probation and various community services.
You should also be aware that the above penalties can be greatly increased by the judge due to the circumstances of each case, such as a prior record.
It is therefore essential to build a strong defense on your behalf, especially if you are not guilty of the charges that have been brought against you.
How Can I Fight the Charges?
The penalties for this crime are stiff and could result in a life sentence. It is vital that you speak with a Los Angeles criminal lawyer first, not the police, in order to protect your rights.
It happens far too often that a lawyer is called on after the fact, which makes preparing a defense much more difficult.
The violent crimes attorneys at Cron, Israels & Stark are known and respected for aggressively fighting on your behalf if you are facing criminal charges for assault or aggravated assault.
Our firm offers an initial no-cost consultation, so there is no need to wait for help during this stressful time. Contact us to set up an appointment. Remember, your freedom is at stake.
See related blog: What is Assault and Battery?