Assault

San Diego Assault Attorney

There are several different classifications of assault under the California Penal Code, each with its own definition and unique potential sentence. As with any criminal charge, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the crime took place and that the defendant committed it.

Simple Assault – Laws & Penalties

Simple Assault is a misdemeanor and defined as an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another. This means that no injury or even contact has to have taken place for this offense to have occurred. This misdemeanor offense can carry a sentence of up to $1,000 in fines and jail time of up to 6 months. Simple Assault – California Penal Code Section 240-241

Simple Battery – Laws & Penalties

Simple Battery can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, a determination that is made by the judge. It is defined as any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon another person. This offense has a potential sentence of up to $2,000 and jail time up to 6 months. Simple Battery – California Penal Code Section 242-243

Battery with Serious Bodily Injury – Laws & Penalties

Battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence against another person. (California Penal Code 242/243.) Battery, at its most simple, is a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.

The consequences of a battery conviction can increase with the severity of the defendant’s actions or the victim’s injuries. When the victim sustains serious bodily injury, the crime is punishable as either a misdemeanor or felony. This is called a “wobbler” under California law.

If battery with serious bodily injury is charged as a misdemeanor, a conviction can result in up to a year in county jail with a $1,000 fine. If it is charged as a felony, the result can be up to four years in prison with a $10,000 fine.

Serious bodily injury means a serious impairment of physical condition. This may include such injuries as loss of consciousness, a bone fracture, or a wound requiring extensive suturing. If the injury is determined to be great bodily injury and you are convicted of felony battery, you may be sentenced to even more time in prison.

There can be defenses to battery. For example, you may have been acting in self-defense or the injuries were not actually serious. It is important to talk to a criminal defense attorney about the charges you are facing and any legal defenses you may have.

Battery on a Peace Officer – Laws & Penalties

Battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence against another person. (California Penal Code 242/243.) Battery, at its most simple, is a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.

Battery against certain people, such as lifeguards, spouses, firefighters, or police officers, can result in harsher sentences. Battery against a peace officer (i.e. police officer) is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $2,000 fine and a year in jail. It doesn’t matter whether the officer was on duty or not as long as he was acting in his role as an officer. The defendant must have known or reasonably should have known that the victim was an officer.

Battery against a peace officer where the officer sustains an injury is charged as a “wobbler,” meaning it can be a misdemeanor or felony. If convicted of a misdemeanor, you face up to a year in jail. If convicted of a felony, the penalty is up to three years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon – Laws & Penalties

Assault with a Deadly Weapon: Assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, is considered a felony punishable by up to 4 years in state prison and fines up to $10,000. A defendant may be charged with this serious felony if the court believes the defendant assaulted another person with a deadly weapon other than a firearm in a manner likely to produce great bodily harm. Assault with a Deadly Weapon (not a firearm) California Penal Code Section 245

Assault with a Firearm:  Unlike “assault with a deadly weapon”, assault with a firearm need not be committed “in a manner likely to produce bodily harm”. The mere possession of the firearm in the commission of an assault is enough to elevate the potential sentence in this crime. This offense is also a felony that carries a potential $10,000 fine and 4 year prison term. Assault with a Firearm  California Penal Code Section 244

All assault offenses have exceptions and inclusions. Alleged assaults taking place on school grounds or where the victim is a public employee may carry elevated sentences. Because assault cases can be complicated you need experienced and dedicated representation.

Hire an experienced San Diego Assault attorney.  Stephen G. Cline has been practicing San Diego criminal defense for 20 years.  His reputation and experience will be the key to the aggressive defense of your San Diego case.  Call today at (619) 235-5638 to review your specific case!