Assault and battery can be a devastating crime, and accusations of assault can result in serious fines, jail time, and other penalties. Furthermore, it can be difficult to defend yourself against such charges; the primary aggressor is not always who it appears to be, and police generally arrest the person who looks like the aggressor.
Accusations of assault and battery can ruin your reputation and decrease your chances for a normal life. If you face an indictment of assault and battery, know the specific accusation. Then speak to an attorney as soon as possible to prepare a skilled defense. If you face accusations in Riverside or Orange County, the law offices of Graham Donath can advise you.
Under the California penal code, a person who has committed assault intentionally attempted to physically injure the victim or made a threatening act or statement, causing the victim to believe he or she was about to be attacked. Assault does not have to involve physical contact.
In contrast, battery is the intentional and unlawful use of force against another person. Battery may or may not involve threats that led the victim to believe he or she faced attack. Under California law, assault and battery can be a misdemeanor or a felony; they “wobble” based on the severity of the crime and the prosecution’s discretion.
Whether you face felony or misdemeanor charges depends on the type of assault or battery. Whether the charge is a felony or misdemeanor will also influence sentencing. For example, if you punch someone during a heated argument, it is simple assault. Additionally, you could be charged with simple assault if you threaten to attack someone and act in such a way that shows you intended to carry out your threat; for example, threatening to hit a coworker with a stapler while brandishing the stapler over your head.
The victim’s identity is crucial. Many professions carry the risk of simple assault; for example, doctors and nurses face this frequently, especially in the emergency room. However, the penalty would be stiffer if you assault a doctor, nurse, or police officer than it would be if you assaulted a coworker. Severe penalties exist for assaulting teachers and school administrators, as well.
Simple battery is the most straightforward example of this type of crime. It includes punching someone, otherwise physically injuring them, or hitting them with a small object. Unlike assault, the mere threat to attack someone does not constitute battery. Again, the victim’s identity will influence the charges you face. Punishments are more severe if the victim is:
The punishment for assault and battery varies depending on the type you are charged with and against whom you allegedly committed the crime. Punishment can include fines of up to $1,000 or $2,000 if the alleged victim issued parking tickets, as well as up to a year in jail and probation lasting six months to one year.
Attorney Graham Donath and his team have years of experience defending felonies, misdemeanors, and cases that tend to “wobble.” Contact us, and bring any documents, photos, or other physical evidence to your appointment that could prove you did not commit the crime. Write down any questions you have, and be prepared to ask them during consultation.