Assault and Battery Lawyer
Assault Attorney Santa Rosa CA
Assault and battery are similar, but distinct crimes. It is possible to be charged with both assault and battery, but you will only be found guilty of one or the other. If you have been accused of assault, battery, or both, contact attorney Johann Hall today. With his experience in the criminal defense of battery and assault charges, he will be able to assess your case and prepare your legal defense of the charges.
What is Assault?
Under California law, an assault occurs when a person intentionally or willfully acts in such a way which causes another person to reasonably believe that he or she is about to be the victim of some type of physical force. Assault is not limited to physical action, as verbal threats may also be considered an assault. The elements of assault are found in California Penal Code 240.
What is Battery?
A battery is an assault taken even further. California law defines battery as actual intentional touching of another individual in an offense or harmful manner. In court, in order for you to be convicted of battery, the prosecuting attorney must prove that you intentionally and willfully touched, or applied force, or physical contact upon another individual. Physical contact upon another individual doesn’t just include their body, but it also includes the person’s clothes or anything else connected to their body, such as a hat. The elements of battery are found in California Penal Code 242.
An aggravated battery has the same elements of battery; however, aggravated battery also includes serious bodily injury to the victim. An aggravated battery can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, which will depend on the individual facts of your case. Serious bodily injury includes bone fracture, concussion, loss of consciousness, loss or impairment of any bodily member or organ, and serious disfigurement.
Punishment for An Assault Conviction in California
In California, if you are convicted of assault, you may face up to six months in county jail. You may also be placed on informal probation and may have to complete a specified number of hours of community service. Additionally, you may be required to pay up to $1,000 in fines or enroll in a Batterer’s Program. If you find yourself convicted of assault, your lawyer may be able to help you get a sentence on the lower end of this spectrum, depending on any mitigating factors in your case.
Punishment for a Battery Conviction in California
If you are convicted of a battery in California, you may be facing slightly more severe punishments than you would if convicted of an assault. For a battery conviction, you may face up to six months in county jail and an informal probation period. You may also be required to pay up to $2,000 in fines, complete community service hours, and enroll in a Batterer’s Program. It is beneficial if you have a lawyer handling your case because your lawyer may be able to help reduce your sentence.
Defenses to Assault and Battery Charges
If you have been wrongfully charged with assault or battery, your lawyer will have the ability to present any applicable defenses to your case to the court. Below is a list of some of the common defenses to charges of assault and battery.
Wrongfully Accused — Sometimes, a person is wrongfully charged with a crime due to mistaken identity. If you can prove that it was not you who committed the crime, you should be able to win your case.
Self-Defense — Your lawyer may also be able to defend your case on the basis that you were acting in self-defense if you reasonably feared for your own safety during the interaction.
Accident — Another possible defense in your case may be that the incident occurred as a result of an accident and that you did not have the requisite intent to be successfully convicted of the crime of assault or battery.
If you have been wrongfully accused of assault or battery, call attorney Johann Hall today to get started cultivating your defense for your case.