Oakland Assault Lawyer
Experienced Oakland Assault Lawyer: Defending Your Rights and Securing the Best Possible Outcome
Sometimes arguments get out of hand, or we let our anger and frustration get the best of us. Before you know it, someone has suffered a violent injury, and you’re getting arrested and taken to county jail.
If you were involved in a violent altercation with another person, you may be facing an assault or battery charge. You can’t go back in time and change what happened, but you can decide the best way to handle your assault and battery case.
Oakland criminal defense attorney Elliot Silver has over two decades of experience defending people caught up in violent situations. If you’re facing criminal charges and need a seasoned assault lawyer or battery lawyer, Silver Law Firm can offer you a free consultation, advocate for your rights, and be the champion you need to get through this difficult time.
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…”
What is the Difference Between Assault and Battery?
People often refer to assault and battery together as a single crime. But under California criminal law, assault, and battery are two different offenses.
A person commits assault when they cause another person to fear or feel apprehension that imminent violence will occur. Someone can commit assault simply by threatening violence or “getting in someone’s face.” Battery, however, is unwanted touching or the actual use of force or violence.
Assault and battery cases often go hand-in-hand because a perpetrator typically causes a victim to fear or anticipate force or violence before it occurs. But in some cases, people can face assault charges or battery charges apart from one another.
What is An Unlawful Attempt?
Generally speaking, an unlawful attempt is a person’s unsuccessful effort to do something against the law.
California assault law dictates that assault is an unlawful attempt at or precursor to battery. This means a person can face assault charges as part of or separate from a battery case, as explained above.
Have you been charged with a crime? Contact Silver Law Firm today.
Criminal Charges for Assault and Battery Under California Law
If you commit, attempt, or are suspected of assault or battery, you can be arrested and face criminal prosecution for either or both crimes. Here are some of the battery and assault crimes you can face under California law, whether the altercation took place in Northern California or Southern California.
SIMPLE ASSAULT (California PENAL CODE 240)
California law provides that a person can be charged with simple assault if they attempted or had the “present ability” to commit an act that would have been harmful or offensive to another person.
A simple assault charge does not require evidence that the accused hurt someone or even completed a harmful or offensive act. It only requires that the accused tried or had the “present ability,” meaning the potential at the time, to do so.
Simple assault is a misdemeanor offense. It is punishable by up to six months in prison and carries a maximum fine of $1,000.
ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON (California PENAL CODE 245)
A person commits assault with a deadly weapon when they attempt to hurt another person with a deadly weapon or instrument.
If the deadly weapon or instrument is something other than a firearm, the accused may face up to one year in county jail or two to four years in prison, plus a fine of up to $10,000.
If the deadly weapon is a typical firearm, the accused may face six months to one year in county jail and two to four years in prison, plus a fine of up to $10,000. If the deadly weapon is a machine gun or assault weapon, however, a person may face four to 12 years in prison.
SIMPLE BATTERY (California PENAL CODE 242)
Battery occurs when a person intentionally comes into harmful or offensive contact with another person without their consent. Battery may sound like an extremely violent act, and it certainly can be.
A person can, however, be charged with simple battery for the alleged willful and unlawful use of any amount of force or violence against another person, or for committing offensive touching of another person so long as the perpetrator and the victim came into actual physical contact or the act resulted in bodily harm.
Even indirect offensive touching, such as grabbing a person’s clothing or throwing an object at them can constitute battery.
AGGRAVATED BATTERY (California PENAL CODE 243(D))
A person can be charged with aggravated battery if they are accused of using force or violence against another person that resulted in serious bodily injury. Unlike in simple battery cases, a victim must suffer serious physical injuries for a person to be charged with aggravated battery.
Different kinds of assault and battery cases carry different degrees of penalties depending on the circumstances involved and whether the person accused has any prior offenses.
Potential Punishments for Assault and Battery
Different categories of assault and battery offenses carry varying degrees of statutory punishments. If you are found guilty of a misdemeanor crime, you may face up to one year in jail and up to several thousand dollars in fines. If you are found guilty of a felony offense, you may face multiple years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Whether you’ve been found guilty of misdemeanor or felony assault or battery, a criminal court can also order you to:
- Complete community service,
- Attend counseling,
- Undergo drug and alcohol treatment,
- Pay restitution to assault victims or battery victims, and
- Follow the rules and limitations of probation.
While all of this may sound like punishment enough as it is, a negative outcome in a battery or even an assault case can have an immense effect on other areas of your life as well.
Further Consequences of Assault and Battery Cases
In addition to prison time and fines, an assault or battery conviction can have collateral consequences. Any type of criminal conviction can have a profoundly negative impact on your life, but assault and battery are considered violent crimes, and people tend to take them seriously even if no great bodily injury occurred.
The collateral consequences of an assault or battery conviction can include:
- Having a permanent entry on your criminal record, depending on the details of your case;
- Having a restraining order filed against you;
- Losing the right to buy or own a firearm;
- Difficulty getting a job, housing, approval of financial aid to pursue higher education, professional license, visa to travel to another country, permanent residency, or citizenship; and
- Alterations to your child custody or visitation arrangement.
Unfortunately, the potential ramifications of battery and assault cases don’t stop at criminal proceedings.
Can I Be Liable For a Person’s Injuries?
The district attorney is not the only party who can seek legal remedies for a battery or assault crime. Assault and battery are intentional torts as well as crimes, which means they can be the subject of a civil lawsuit, too.
A victim of civil assault and/or battery can seek financial compensation by filing a civil action. A plaintiff can state a civil claim for medical expenses and other costs by stating that they have suffered physical harm or psychological trauma as a result of an assault, battery, or both.
While a civil lawsuit can be much harder to win if no great bodily injury occurred, a person can recover damages for any of the following:
- Medical bills,
- Travel expenses,
- Lost wages, and
- Pain and suffering
Injury victims may be more likely to win civil cases where defendants have already been convicted of assault or battery in criminal cases. That’s why you need a solid criminal defense attorney before you search for a personal injury attorney to help defend you in a civil suit.
Assault and Battery Defenses
There are many ways to challenge an assault or battery charge. For example, you can show that you:
- Are not the party responsible,
- Did not act willfully,
- Acted in self defense,
- Acted in defense of another,
- Acted in defense of your property,
- Obtained the victim’s consent, or
- Sustained a violent injury yourself.
Each or a combination of these arguments can help you convince the prosecution to lower the charges against you, drop them entirely, or accept a guilty plea. If none of those options prove successful, you can also argue these defenses in court.
It can be overwhelming to keep track of the facts involved and the steps you need to take to achieve a favorable outcome. But the good news is you’re not alone. A criminal defense lawyer can help you understand the process, uncover the truth, choose the best defense, back it up with evidence, and get the best results possible in your case.
How An Assault and Battery Lawyer Can Help
A skilled battery or assault lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and handle any legal issue, big or small, that comes your way. The assault and battery lawyers at Silver Law Firm know how to find the evidence you need to present a strong defense and shed light on events in a way that is most favorable to you.
If the odds are stacked against you, we can help you get your assault or battery charge reduced from a major offense like felony assault to a misdemeanor crime such as simple assault. If your case goes to trial, our attorneys can skillfully question police officers and other witnesses and raise reasonable doubt in the minds of judges and juries. And if you’ve been accused of sexual assault, we can handle your sexual assault or battery case, too.
Whatever the facts of your case may be, we have the skills and experience to help you fight it and suffer the fewest consequences possible.
What Our Clients Say About Working With Us
Silver Law Firm’s experienced attorneys have a proven history of giving clients great legal representation. Here are just a few examples.
“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…” – SILVER LAW FIRM CLIENT
“Thank God I hired Elliot, I had a complex case in Alameda and he fought for me at every corner, plus he knew all the district attorneys and judges, even the prosecuting attorney. The only advice I can give is to trust him! He saved me!” – K.M., OAKLAND
We’re Here to Help You Fight Assault and Battery Charges
Whether your case involves serious bodily injury or not, an assault or battery charge can cause severe damage to your reputation and life.
Our attorneys have experience with all kinds of assault and battery cases, from simple assault to felony assault. Whether you need an attorney who can get your California assault or battery charges dismissed, negotiate a favorable plea deal, convince a jury that you acted in self defense, or simply raise reasonable doubt, Silver Law Firm will be in your corner.
Contact Oakland lawyer Elliot Silver at (510) 995-0000 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how to defend yourself against assault and battery charges.