If you have been charged with assault, it is imperative that you seek out a criminal defense attorney to represent you in your case. The state of California defines criminal assault as an unlawful attempt, combined with a present ability to commit a violent injury on the person of another. In California, you can be charged with either simple assault or aggravated assault.
Contact attorney Johann Hall today for a free consultation. California criminal defense attorney Johann Hall has handled the defense of several criminal assault cases with success. California assault charges can be complex, so it is important to hire a criminal defense lawyer to guide you through the process.
Assault Charges Can Lead to Serious Consequences
Generally, simple assault charges are misdemeanors which may lead to a sentence of up to 6 months spent in county jail, probation, and a fine of up to $1,000. If you have been convicted of simple assault, you may also be ordered by the judge to pay restitution to the victim. In this type of situation, being ordered to pay restitution means that you may be responsible for some or all of the medical bills the alleged victim incurred as a result of the assault, though some alleged assaults do not result in injury serious enough to require medical treatment, so whether or not restitution is on the table in your case will depend on the facts specific to your case.
Aggravated Assault— A Felony with Additional Consequences
Depending on the circumstances, you may be charged with aggravated assault which can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. Whether aggravated assault is prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the specific facts of your case. This is another reason that it is very important to hire a criminal defense attorney to handle your case. If you are convicted of a felony, there are long-term consequences you may face due to having a felony conviction on your record, such as trouble finding employment.
An assault may be elevated to the level of an aggravated assault when the assault in question involved a deadly weapon, such as a gun. Additionally, if the assault occurred during an attempt to commit a felony, this could also be a reason for the prosecutor to elevate the charge of assault to an aggravated assault. An aggravated assault felony conviction can also result in a jail sentence, a fine of up to $10,000, community service, and also restitution if the alleged victim in your case required medical treatment that you were found to be responsible for.
California’s Three Strikes Law—What it Means for Your Case
In 1994, California enacted a sentencing law known as the California Three Strikes Law. This law required serious sentencing minimums, making it so that if a defendant was convicted of a new felony after having already been convicted of a serious felony, then that defendant would be required to serve a sentence in state prison equal to twice the sentence that otherwise would have been ordered for that crime.
If that same defendant then was convicted of any felony after already having these two strikes (or more in the case of felony convictions prior to this law coming into play), then according to the Three Strikes Law, that defendant would be sentenced to a at least 25 years to life in prison. In 2012, however, California voters passed Proposition 36 which amended the Three Strikes Law to change the requirement for the third strike to apply only if the new felony was a violent or serious felony with two or more prior strikes.
The state of California’s Three Strikes Law may apply to your case if you are convicted of a felony aggravated assault. This is yet another reason it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to handle your case, so that your attorney can advise you of your best options in the specific scenario you are facing.
Due to the seriousness of potential sentences under the Three Strikes Law, it is important to hire an attorney like Johann Hall who is familiar with the Three Strikes Law and the potential consequences it may have for someone convicted of felony aggravated assault. Call criminal defense attorney Johann Hall today to get started defending your assault charges. He will work with you to develop the best defense for your particular case and will guide you through the court proceedings step by step.