Assault and Battery Defense
If you have been charged with assault or battery it is critical that you seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Assault and battery charges can be more complicated than they seem, and carry steep consequences. Don Ho knows how to provide you with a passionate defense against these charges, and will fight to protect your rights.
Assault and Battery: California Penal Code §§ 240-248
Assault and Battery are often mentioned together, but are two different crimes, each with its own set of penalties. An assault occurs when a person intentionally tries to physically harm another person, or makes a menacing or threatening act or statement that causes a person to believe they are about to be physically attacked. Battery always involves physical contact, and occurs when a person intentionally uses physical force against another person. Essentially, an assault can occur when there is no physical contact between two people – the focus is on the intent to harm. A battery always involves physical contact.
Simple assault and battery can be charged as misdemeanors. A misdemeanor assault charge can result in a fine of up to $1000, and up to six months in county jail. A misdemeanor battery charge can result in a fine of up to $2000 and up to six months in county jail.
If certain factors are present, the punishment for assault or battery charges can be made more severe. If a gun or other deadly weapon was involved, or if the victim was – or could have been – seriously injured, the penalties could increase dramatically.
If you cause serious bodily injury to a person, you could be charged with aggravated battery. Aggravated battery can be charged as a misdemeanor, which could result in a fine of up to $1000 and up to one year in county jail, or as a felony, which could result in a fine of up to $10,000, up to four years in state prison, and a possible strike under California’s Three Strikes Law.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Assaulting someone with a deadly weapon, or in a way that is likely to cause serious physical injury, can also result in increased penalties. If charged as a misdemeanor, this can result in a fine of up to $10,000 and up to one year in county jail, as well as victim restitution, weapon confiscation, or other penalties. If charged as a felony, this can result in fines of up to $10,000, up to four years in state prison, victim restitution, weapon confiscation, and a possible strike under California’s Three Strikes Law.
Several other factors can increase the penalties for an assault or battery conviction, including:
- The victim was a healthcare provider or public worker
- The victim was an intimate partner or family member (domestic violence)
- The victim was elderly or disabled
- The victim was on public transportation, school property, a public park, or in a hospital
Defending against Assault and Battery charges
There are several defenses that can be raised against charges of assault and battery, even those that include the aggravating factors listed above, and Don Ho Law’s assault and battery attorneys in Orange County have the experience to craft a zealous defense on your behalf.
Some defenses that could be relevant to your case:
- Self defense or defense of others
- The victim consented to the act or activity
- It was an accident, or you did not intend to cause harm
- Factual innocence
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