We were devastated when our teenage son got into trouble with the law. Somehow we were lucky enough to come into contact with Elliot. From the very first time that I talked to him, he put me at ease with the whole process that we were about to go through. His advice and work ethic were outstanding…”
California Assault Crimes
While assault and battery are often discussed as a singular crime, they are actually different offenses. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, you could be charged with:
- Simple Assault (Penal Code 240)
Under California law, you can be charged with simple assault if there is evidence you attempted a harmful or offensive act and had the ability to follow through with it. There does not have to be evidence that you actually completed a harmful or offensive act, or that anyone got hurt. This is a midemeanor offense, punishable by up to six-months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.
- Assault With a Deadly Weapon (Penal Code 245)
If the police have evidence you attempted to hurt another person with the use of a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm, you may face two, three, or four years in prison, or up to one year in county jail, and a fine of up to $10,000. If you commit assault with a firearm, you may face two, three, or four years in prison, or between six months and one year in jail, and a fine of up to $10,000. Assault of another person with a machinegun or an assault weapon may result in imprisonment for four, eight, or 12 years.
- Simple Battery (Penal Code 242) & Aggravated Battery (Penal Code 243(D))
Battery usually stirs up images of grievous injuries and savage beatings, but you can be charged and convicted if prosecutors can prove you used any force, violence, or offensive touching against another person, and there was actual physical contact or a resulting injury. All that’s required for battery is that you touched someone offensively, even if it was indirect, such as grabbing someone’s coat or throwing something at a person.If you are accused of causing another person serious bodily injury through force or violence, then you will be charged with aggravated battery. This is another wobbler crime that can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony.
Statutory Punishments for Assault and Battery
The potential statutory punishments for an assault or battery offense will depend on the exact charge. A misdemeanor offense is punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a few thousand dollars in fines. However, a felony assault or battery offense can lead to multiple years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. You could also be ordered to complete community service, undergo counseling or addiction treatment if alcohol or drugs were involved, pay restitution, and/or adhere to the limitations of probation.
If you are convicted of an assault or battery offense, you must also anticipate additional consequences beyond the statutory punishments. A criminal conviction can have a profound impact on your life. Typical collateral consequences include:
- A permanent criminal record, depending on the details of your case.
- Loss of the right to own a firearm
- Difficulties obtaining a job, apartment, student financial aid, professional license, visa, permanent residency, or citizenship
- Modifications to your child custody or visitation arrangement
Have you been charged with a crime? Contact Silver Law Firm today.
Defending Against an Assault or Battery Charge
If you have been charged with assault or battery, contact a criminal defense attorney from Silver Law Firm immediately. We know that momentary lapses in judgment can quickly spiral out of control, but these instances should not tarnish the rest of your life. Whether you were in an argument that led to pushing and shoving, or someone felt threatened in a disagreement about a parking spot, there are numerous ways that hiring an attorney will improve your situation. Officers sometimes overcharge people that are booked for these incidents. Attorney Silver will first confer with the prosecutors to determine if the charges can be reduced from the onset. Next, attorney Silver will carefully review the evidence to build a defense strategy, which may include arguing:
- You did not attempt to use any violence or force against the other person
- You did not act willfully
- You lacked the ability to follow through with any violence or force
- You acted in self-defense
- You acted in defense of others
When assault and battery accusations are levied against you, it will be critical to have someone telling your story. Battling against the California criminal justice system is intimidating if you are alone. Attorney Silver will stand up for every client and jump into the fray to ensure your voice is heard.
Our Assault Defense Lawyers Are Here to Help
If you have been charged with an assault, battery, or any other violent crime, do not hesitate to ask for legal help. At Silver Law Firm, we understand you’re scared and nervous about what is coming next. You may even be angry that you have been falsely accused of a crime you didn’t commit. We are here to fight for an acquittal.
To learn more about how we can help, contact Silver Law Firm online or call us at (510) 995-0000 today.