Were you arrested or charged with assault in San Diego, CA? Assault is a violent crime. If convicted, you could face financial penalties and jail time–in addition to a lasting criminal record. An experienced San Diego assault attorney at Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers is ready to start building the strong defense you need today. Call our law firm in San Diego, California at (619) 357-4977 today.
Our founding attorney has been fighting for the people of San Diego for over a decade. We know the stakes are high if you’re facing criminal charges. You can count on us when you need help the most.
It’s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
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How Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers Can Help if You Were Arrested for Assault in San Diego, CA
Our lawyers believe that everyone who is accused of a crime deserves a strong and aggressive defense. Many people who are charged with crimes aren’t criminals. Police and prosecutors can misread situations–and sometimes overzealously charge suspects with crimes that don’t fit the circumstances.
At Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers, our San Diego criminal lawyers have helped countless clients over the years. Our team has a reputation for winning–so prosecutors know they can’t take advantage of our clients.
We’ll work tirelessly to secure the best possible outcome in your case, whether that’s having the charges reduced, fighting to have your case dismissed, or winning a not-guilty verdict.
When you hire us, you’ll have a lawyer to:
- Conduct an independent investigation into your case
- Evaluate all of your legal options
- Develop the strong defense you deserve
- Identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case
- Identify any illegally obtained evidence and move to have it excluded
- Negotiate with prosecutors to have the charges downgraded or dropped
An experienced San Diego criminal defense lawyer can make a world of difference to your future. Call for a free initial consultation today to learn more about an attorney-client relationship.
Overview of Assault Laws in California
Like most states, the California Penal Code divides the crime of assault into two separate offenses. You can be charged with assault, battery, or assault and battery.
You can be convicted of assault if you attempt to physically injure someone–even if you don’t make physical contact. Battery, on the other hand, involves the actual use of force or violence against another person.
What is Assault?
Under California Penal Code Section 240, assault is an unlawful attempt to violently injure another person. To convict on assault charges, the prosecution must also prove that you had the present ability to actually cause the injury attempted.
For example, you can be convicted of assault if you throw a punch at another person and miss. The state doesn’t have to prove that you actually hurt someone.
Assault is typically a misdemeanor-level crime. This type of assault is often called “simple assault.”
What is Battery?
Battery is the unlawful and willful use of force or violence on another person. State prosecutors don’t have to prove that you injured the other person. It’s enough to show that you made some type of unwanted violent contact.
For example, you can be charged with battery if you shoved another person, regardless of whether they felt any pain.
Battery is typically a misdemeanor. However, the charges may be much more serious if you actually did inflict serious injury.
Aggravated Assault and Battery
Under California Penal Code Section 243(d), battery charges are aggravated if the violent act causes serious injury. Aggravated battery, which is called aggravated assault in other states, is a much more serious offense.
Serious injuries typically are those that impair someone else’s physical or cognitive abilities. Prosecutors don’t have to prove that the victim required medical care or suffered a long-term injury.
Domestic Assault and Battery
Law enforcement officials in California take domestic violence allegations extremely seriously.
Domestic battery is battery that is committed against:
- A spouse or former spouse
- Someone with whom you are cohabitating (including children)
- The parent of your child
- Your fiance
- A dating partner
- A former dating partner
Domestic battery can be a misdemeanor or a felony. However, more serious charges apply if the prosecution can prove that you willfully inflicted a “corporal injury” on a spouse, child, co-parent or romantic partner (whether current or former). These charges tend to apply when the victim suffers more serious injuries.
The consequences of a domestic battery conviction can be far-ranging. If you’ve been accused of assault, don’t wait to take legal action. It’s possible that the defendant could secure a restraining order that could dramatically impact your life.
We have years of experience handling complex domestic violence claims. Call Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers to schedule a free case review with an experienced San Diego assault lawyer today.
Assault With a Deadly Weapon
Assault with a deadly weapon is a serious felony offense. You can be convicted under California Penal Code Section 245 for committing assault with a deadly weapon or a firearm.
The penalties for assault with a deadly weapon will depend on:
- The type of deadly weapon involved
- The severity of the injuries that were likely to result from the offense
Assault with a deadly weapon is a serious violent crime. You should expect state prosecutors to put their full weight into securing a conviction.
Remember, you could face aggravated assault charges even if you don’t succeed in injuring someone.
What are the Penalties for Assault in San Diego, California?
The penalties for assault depend on the exact offense charged and the circumstances of the alleged crime. The defendant’s prior criminal history can also play a role in determining the potential sentence.
Penalties for a simple assault conviction typically include up to $1,000 in fines and a maximum of six months in county jail.
The punishment for battery includes:
- Up to $2,000 in financial penalties
- A maximum of six months in county jail
However, if you’re charged with felony-level battery, you could face between two and four years in state prison. If the battery caused great bodily injury, the judge could tack another three to six years onto your prison sentence.
If you’re convicted of domestic battery, your punishment may include:
- A fine of up to $2,000
- Up to one year in county jail
- Participation in a batterer’s treatment program or other counseling
- Up to $5,000 in payments to a battered women’s shelter
You may also be ordered to reimburse the victim for the costs of counseling and any other expenses that result from the injury.
Felony level charges involving corporal injury to a spouse or domestic partner can carry up to four years in prison (or one year in jail if the charge is a misdemeanor).
Assault with a deadly weapon carries much more serious penalties. If convicted, you could face up to four years in prison for felony-level charges. If the deadly weapon was a firearm, you’ll face a minimum of six months in jail, even if the charge is a misdemeanor.
What Factors Can Influence the Severity of My Punishment?
Most assault offenses are considered “wobblers.” A wobbler is an offense that can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. Therefore, the severity of the punishment can depend on a number of factors.
Those factors may include:
- Your prior criminal history
- The level of injury involved
- The circumstances of the offense
For example, you could face enhanced charges based on a prior record, the victim’s identity, or offenses involving certain types of firearms.
In these cases, your battery lawyer’s skills and experience can be critical to having the charges downgraded or even dismissed.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of Assault?
There are many strong defenses that can be highly effective in California assault cases. The nature of your defense will depend on the facts of your case.
Our team at Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers will help you explore all legal defenses that may be available, including:
- You lacked the ability to inflict injury on the alleged victim
- False accusations
- Mistaken identity or alibi defenses (actual innocence)
- You were acting in self-defense
- Lack of intent to cause physical harm
- The injuries involved were not “great bodily injuries”
- Lack of evidence
The prosecution is required to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Our attorneys in San Diego County will do everything possible to challenge their case. All you have to do is give us a call to get started.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a San Diego Assault Attorney
Assault is a violent criminal offense. You’ll need a strong defense to minimize the harsh penalties that may apply under California laws. Call Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation with a San Diego assault attorney who will aggressively defend your rights.