Assault and battery charges are taken very seriously in California courtrooms and judged harshly in the public eye. However, it must be said that the accused have rights, too, and everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. If you or someone you love has been charged with assault and/or battery, it is paramount that you consult with a criminal defense attorney to help avoid jail time and severe financial penalties.
In California, physical violence is not required to carry an assault charge; threats and attempts to cause harm can result in an assault charge. Battery charges come from unwanted physical contact with another person. But there are strong legal defenses to both charges, and your criminal lawyer could be your best ally in building that defense.
What Are the Different Types of Assault and Battery in CA?
California has two types of assault charges and two types of battery charges.
- Simple assault: In California, simple assaults are misdemeanors where you threaten or intend to harm another person and are judged to have the ability or will to follow through on those threats.
- Assault with a deadly weapon: California law determines assault with a deadly weapon to be any violent act with a weapon or with the capacity to use such a weapon. This can be determined to be a felony or misdemeanor.
- Simple battery: Any unwanted physical touching without consent can be charged with a ‘simple’ battery. Injury or intent to harm is not necessary for the charge to hold up.
- Aggravated battery: Any unwanted physical contact which results in significant injury.
What Are the Possible Legal Punishments for Assault or Battery?
Simple assault convictions come with a punishment of up to six months in prison and/or fines up to a thousand dollars. A misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon charge comes with a risk of a year of jail time and/or fines up to a thousand dollars. Felony assault with a deadly weapon conviction may face longer jail time and higher fines.
Simple battery convictions are misdemeanors that come with the risk of punishments of months in jail and fines up to a thousand dollars. Aggravated battery which results in serious injury, could result in four years in jail and much higher fines.
What Defenses Could Your Attorney Raise?
If you have been charged with assault and/or battery, your criminal defense attorney may have many options for building a legal defense, including:
- Defense of another individual.
- Mistaken identity.
- Falsely accused.
- Defense of property.
- You did not act willfully.
- You were given consent.
Contact our law firm at 949-494-7011 for legal assistance today.