If you are facing assault charges in San Diego, you are not alone. To be charged with assault in California you must only be suspected of the act – no injury need occur for assault charges to be filed. Under California law, assault is defined as an attempt to do violent injury to another. This broad definition allows assault charges to be applied to many criminal cases, under many different circumstances, with widely varying degrees of penalties. If convicted of assault you may be facing a minimum of:
- Probation for Several Years
- Fines and/or Victim Restitution
- Court-Ordered Anger-Management Courses
- Jail or Prison Time
- Misdemeanor or Felony Conviction(s)
- Irreparable Damage to your Reputation
Factors unique to your personal case, the overall severity of assault charges, and a host of complicating factors mean you need a dedicated legal team vigorously defending against assault charges on your behalf.
Defending Against Assault Charges
California Penal Code 240 states that assault (by itself) is a misdemeanor charge resulting from the suspected unlawful attempt to injure someone else. This means that you can be charged, convicted, and sentenced for assault – even if no one was injured. The following criteria must be met, beyond a reasonable double, in order to be convicted of an assault charge:
- The accused had the ability to act
- The accused acted willingly
- Their action was likely to result in harm done to another
- They were aware the harm may occur
Punishment for assault includes up to six (6) months in jail, fines as high as $1,000.00, court-ordered education, community service, or a combination of these penalties. The penalties increase along with the severity of the charges, the use of any weapons, and any additional battery charges.
Assault and Battery
Assault and Battery are often filed together when physical contact with someone is alleged. As such, they are commonly mistaken for one another, yet represent two distinctly-different criminal charges. Assault may be referred to as “attempted battery”, yet assault charges do not require physical contact. Battery can instead be viewed as the completed form of assault – when illegal physical contact has been made.
In addition to battery charges, assault charges may be filed alongside charges of:
- Sexual Violence
- Domestic Violence
- Weapons Violations
- Other Violent Crimes, and more
The severity of the battery, additional charges, circumstances of the case, and a host of other factors will affect the potential assault punishments and penalties, if convicted.
Assault and Battery Punishments and Penalties
The penalties for assault and battery in San Diego will vary based on many factors unique to your case. The severity of the assault and/or battery, additional information relevant to your case, any personal criminal history (should it exist), and more will determine which (if any) penalties you may face if convicted.
Due to the incredibly broad range of circumstances in which assault charges may be filed, the penalties range anywhere from a small fine to several years in prison. A well-executed legal defense can mean the difference between exoneration and freedom or a lifelong conviction and prison time. The team at the Law Office of David P. Shapiro has years of experience, both inside and outside of the courtroom, defending against assault charges throughout southern California.
San Diego Assault Lawyers
The first thing we recommend is to exercise your right to remain silent. DO NOT speak to the police if you are detained or arrested for assault. Second, we recommend you contact the Law Office of David P. Shapiro, or a comparable criminal defense firm, to begin crafting your legal defense. Just because you have been accused DOES NOT mean you are guilty of a crime, even if you made physical contact. You may be factually innocent and/or deserving of a not guilty verdict at trial if:
- You lack the ability to perform the action in question
- The assault was performed unwillingly or without intent
- You were provoked into an assault and/or battery
- You acted in self-defense or in the defense of another person
- The victim consented to the act
- You have been wrongfully accused
Our team has the experience necessary to defend against all degrees of assault charges in San Diego County, and throughout southern California. We will explore every avenue for, at the very least, reducing your assault charges, if not getting them dismissed outright.
We know the laws, we know the courts, and we know the prosecutors who try to get convictions on defendable cases. Put our experience to work for you – Take the first step toward an effective legal defense: Call the Law Office of David P. Shapiro at 619-295-3555 for your free, no obligation, consultation today.