Assault and Battery Lawyer in San Diego California
Any San Diego assault and battery lawyer can tell you that aggravated assault sentence in San Diego, California is usually more severe by law. The Assault charge lawyer will inform you that the reason it is more severely punished is because chances are the aggressor has a “short fuse”. He lacks self-control and may “fly off the handle” and commit violence against another person at some time in the future.
Before we move on, lets clarify 4 common questions about assault, aggravated assault vs assault and the assault and battery difference:
What is Battery?
Battery is a criminal charge involving force (such as a punch or a kick) to another person’s body. This is considered “offensive touching” (This includes touching someone sexually or inappropriately, without their permission). This kind of offensive touching includes any physical injury.
In a majority of instances it, if brought before the courts, will result in the perpetrator being charged with misdemeanor charges.
Battery is usually punishable by criminal fines or fees, and sometimes even time in jail. Those with more serious cases of battery, or those who have repeat instances of battery, may end up with more serious legal consequences. In fact, it could end up resulting in felony instead of misdemeanor charges.
What is Assault – Legal Definition
What is assault definition? Assault is the attempt to cause fear of harm to an individual. Assault is defined as attempted battery, such as trying to carry out a threat to harm someone, like trying to strike them with an objet, or attempting to kick or punch them.
Assault and Battery Difference
The distinction between assault and battery is that assault involves the threat of hurting someone, battery is actually carrying out the threat.
What is Aggravated Assault?
Aggravated assault is making an effort to cause serious injury to another person purposely, knowingly or recklessly, without regard to human life. It includes trying to cause bodily injury to another person using a deadly weapon. All statutes punish aggravated assault, such as intending to rob, rape, or murder, as well as using deadly weapon, more severely than simple assaults.
Aggravated assaults are usually categorized as felonies. Assaults that take place in a victim’s home is usually considered aggravated assault as well. Simple assaults usually qualify as misdemeanors. Different states have different rules. An experienced assault and battery lawyer can often get aggravated assault charges dropped. However, it may be necessary to contact a few assault lawyers to find the best assault and battery lawyer to assist you with your case.
The best criminal defense lawyer may only be able to get your charges lowered, however, receiving less of a sentence. Aggravated assault involves serious injuries or the addition of weapons into the equation. Even if someone aimed a gun at another person with no intention of pulling the trigger, that could be considered aggravated assault. Understanding all the components of an aggravated assault charge will help you to anticipate the penalties you may face. An aggravated assault lawyer is not required for assault cases, but it is highly recommended because an aggravated assault lawyer in San Diego, California, can help guide you towards a better outcome in your case.
Aggravated assault lawyers can help you understand: The penalties for aggravated assault in California The definition of aggravated assault The impact of weapons on your sentence Key factors in aggravated assault cases Common defenses of aggravated assault
How an Assault and Battery Lawyer Can Help
An assault and battery lawyer can help you understand the nuances that are often found in these charges and help you to construct a defense if the situation allows for one. An aggravated assault attorney is a critical partner for pursuing the best possible outcome for your case.
Aggravated Assault in California Aggravated assault is prosecuted aggressively in California, and criminal sentencing can be severe. Aggravated assault is defined under Penal Code 245 as the “willful application of force, coupled with the present ability to carry out a threat of harm is committed using a weapon or force capable of producing great bodily injury or death of another person.” There are a few key ways an assault battery lawyer will break down this phrasing to better understand the implications:
Willful: To Act Willingly or on purpose.
Application of Force: This can be defined as the touching of another individual in a manner that is harmful or offensive. Touching does not have to be done with hands – under the penal code, it can be indirect contact with an object, or through another person.
Present Ability to Harm: This phrase does not necessitate actual intent to use force on a person. In this part of the Penal Code, the ability to apply force would likely cause harm to another person.
Another Person: This can include a person’s clothing or other item attached to an individual
Deadly Weapon: Any object, instrument, or weapon that is inherently deadly or one that is used in such a way that it is capable of causing and is likely to cause death or great bodily injury of another person.
Defendant Did Not Act in Self-Defense: The burden is on the prosecution to prove that the defendant did not act in self-defense. This means that a person in your particular circumstances would not have reasonably acted in self-defense.
It will be the job of your aggravated assault attorney to assist you in assembling the details of the case, and providing a defense based on disproving these key charges.
Penalties for Aggravated Assault Although other states have different rules, aggravated assault in California can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the incident and your assault and battery lawyer. The severity of the sentencing is usually dependent on the injuries that the victim sustained, the intent of harm, and the use of weapons. Because aggravated assault in California is prosecuted under Penal Code 245, the charges can result in the following:
Probation A jail sentence of up to one year Up to $10,000 in fines Confiscation of the weapon (if it is owned by the convicted individual) Possible community service and/or a mandatory Anger Management course.
California also has a ‘three-strikes’ law that was instituted in 1994. The three strikes law mandates that if you are convicted of a felony with two previous charges on your record, your sentence can be doubled. A felony aggravated assault conviction can count as a “strike’ on your record and has the potential to land you in prison for the rest of your life.
Due to the very serious nature of the penalties you can face, you will need an aggravated assault attorney to advocate on your behalf. A California assault and battery lawyer can explain the legal details of the charges against you, the consequences, and whatever options you may have for a defense.
How Does the Use of Weapons Impacted Aggravated Assault Charges? The presence of a weapon is often one of the things that can elevate a simple assault to aggravated assault. Even with the presence of a weapon, the assault can still be classified as either a misdemeanor or felony according to California law, but there are many additional factors that can increase the sentence. There are a few key weapons your assault and battery lawyer will notice when predicting whether the assault will be classified as a misdemeanor or felony:
If the weapon used in the assault was a handgun or a rifle, a sentence of up to 9 years in California can be imposed. If the weapon was a machine gun or assault weapon, your sentence would increase to 12 years. If the victim is a law enforcement officer or a firefighter, and clearly acting in a professional capacity during the attack, the sentence in California will be 12 years in a state prison.
Ultimately, these factors will determine the penalties that you could face if convicted of assault with a deadly weapon. That is why it is imperative that your aggravated assault attorney is able to establish the factors that exist in your case. If there was no weapon or if it was used in a capacity that does not qualify as ‘deadly,’ the case can be altered. If you lacked the ability to harm others with the weapon, this will also impact your sentencing. These kinds of mitigating factors are extremely important to your aggravated assault attorney, and they will use this information to negotiate the terms of your punishment. It is equally important for your aggravated assault attorney to address any aggravating factors in your case early on in order to prevent an enhanced sentence if you are convicted. All of this information can help your assault and battery lawyer determine the length you stay behind bars and the fines you will ultimately pay.
Other Key Factors of Aggravated Assault Charges in San Diego, California Aside from the use of weaponry, there are additional factors that can lead a simple assault to be classified as an aggravated assault. These factors are:
The identity of the victim The intent of the perpetrator The degree of injury The definition of a deadly weapon
For someone facing assault charges, these are difficult factors to keep track of and understand how they might apply to your unique situation. An assault and battery lawyer will be able to guide you making these assessments, as they are of critical importance to your case.
The Identity of the Victim Some simple assaults become aggravated assaults depending on the victim in question. California has additional charges and fines that can be placed if the victim was a police officer, EMT, firefighter, or any other form of a public service worker. For an assault against one of these public servants to count as aggravated assault, they must have been performing the role of a professional capacity when the assault took place. Additionally, the perpetrator must have been aware of the status as a service member through a uniform or other marker or indicator.
In addition to assaults on certain protected professions, assault charges can be increased if the incident is determined to be a hate crime. Hate crimes are generally defined by an assault carried out against an individual because of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. If an assault is carried out against an individual with reason to believe it was motivated by identity, the charges of simple assault may be increased in severity to aggravated assault.
Intent of the Perpetrator The mental state of the perpetrator can also increase a charge from simple assault to aggravated assault. If it is found that the perpetrator acted with the intent to cause severe harm or threatened severe harm, an assault can become aggravated. Depending on the incident and the individual in question, reckless behavior can also constitute aggravated assault. For example, if an individual acts with reckless indifference to human life, even if they don’t have the specific intent to injure that person, they still could be charged with aggravated assault. Especially if a dangerous or deadly weapon is involved, an assault may become aggravated even without the specific intent to injure.
Degree of Injury to the Victim More serious injuries to the victim can cause a simple assault to become an aggravated assault. In most states, assaults causing serious bodily injury qualify as aggravated assaults. The seriousness of an injury will vary greatly from case to case. Injuries threatening death will qualify as a serious injury, as will those who maim or disfigure the victim. Some states specify by statute particular injuries that qualify as serious. If a method of assault which would normally cause death only causes minor physical injury, some states will still punish it as aggravated assault (or even attempted homicide).
Sexual assaults usually qualify as a separate type of assault, but depending on the state, you could be charged with aggravated assault or rape if the incident included unwanted sexual contact.
What is the Definition of a Deadly Weapon in California? Believe it or not, the definition of a deadly weapon can differ amongst aggravated assault cases and can be a key determination for assault and battery lawyers in constructing your case.
Weapons classified as ‘deadly’ include much more than guns or firearms. ‘Deadly weapons’ are those that would cause serious injury or death to an individual, such as knives, clubs, chains, etc. The definition of deadly weapon alters depending on how the weapon was used against another individual. For example, a small pocket knife would not generally be classified as a deadly weapon, but if it is held against someone’s throat in an assault, it could be deadly.
Ultimately, the definition of a deadly weapon used in an aggravated assault has no fixed definition, which is why it is important to consult an assault and battery lawyer when faced with this charge. The average civilian would likely have no idea the intricacies of this definition, but an aggravated assault lawyer can use acquired knowledge to alter the outcome of the case.
Common Defenses of Aggravated Assault The defense of an aggravated assault will vary by jurisdiction, which is why it is so important to have an assault and battery lawyer who understands the laws in your locality. However, there are a few common defenses of aggravated assault that generally apply to most situations. Consent is a common defense of aggravated assault, and it can be used if you feel that the victim consented to the risk of harm. Consent can be a defense in cases that involve games such as boxing, wrestling, general horseplay, so well as circumstances that involve surgery or body alterations such as tattoos or piercings.
The defense of crime prevention is also common, as your assault and battery lawyer may be able to prove that your actions were taken as a response to protect yourself and others. The prevention of crime can also be extended to include defense of property, as by law you have the right to defend yourself against intrusion. The defense of crime prevention must include strong proof that you had a reasonable fear for your own safety, or the safety of others and acted accordingly. It is important to note that most aggravated assault lawyers will take into account the fact that you cannot exercise a stronger degree of force than the threat posed to you. For example, you cannot use a deadly weapon if an unarmed person was simply trespassing.
Reach Out to a San Diego, California assault and battery Lawyer Today If you are facing aggravated assault charges in California, you will need experienced aggravated assault attorneys on your side to navigate the legalities of the situation. assault charges are extremely serious, and you can face consequences that will impact you for years if the charge is not dealt with in an appropriate manner. Get in touch with an aggravated assault lawyer so you can better understand:
The differences between simple assault and aggravated assault The laws and penalties for aggravated assault charges in California
Retain an Experienced assault and battery Lawyer Your aggravated assault attorney will be able to help you examine the situation and evaluate the best possible outcome for the charges that you are facing. Don’t deal with an aggravated assault charge on your own. Contact us today for a consultation. Our assault and battery lawyer will ensure that you are respected, taken seriously, and taken care of throughout the process. So call Your Defense Law Firm today to learn how we can help you with assault and battery charges. Call (619) 777-7171