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    As a former Deputy Public Defender in Riverside County, Mr. Donath has always been on the defense side of the law. 

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    Top 100 Trial Attorneys in California 2012-2014, 2008 Trial Attorney of the Year by the Riverside County Public Defender's Office, and dozens of other awards and accolades.

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Riverside Assault & Battery Defense Attorney

Assault and battery can be a devastating crime, and accusations of assault can result in serious fines, jail time, and other penalties. Without a Riverside assault attorney, 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 a Riverside assault lawyer as soon as possible to prepare a skilled defense. If you face accusations in Riverside or Orange County, the Law Offices of Graham D. Donath, APC can advise you.

Riverside Assault and Battery Defense Attorney

Quick Answers:

Requirements for an Assault Charge

what is considered (pc 240) assault?

The first requirement regards the incident itself. There must be an act. You cannot charge someone with assault if he or she threatens you or implies an intent to harm you. The person must act in some way that puts you in danger. He or she does not have to touch you or hurt you, but for it to be assault he or she needs to physically act in a way that expresses an intent to harm you.

Intent is the second requirement for an assault charge. The person must have expressed an intent to do harm. However, it only needs to be general intent. The individual does not need to have intended to specifically harm one person in a way. Actions that show a desire to harm anyone can warrant an assault charge. If he or she meant to scare or frighten people, the law also considers it assault.

Is (pc 240) / assault a “strike” under California’s three strike law?

No. Penal Code 240 / Assault is not a “Strike” under California’s Three Strikes Law.

Battery Requirements

Intent is also an aspect of battery requirements. However, the person does not need to intend to harm someone for the incident to be battery. Any intentional inappropriate touching without consent, even if it is not meant to be aggressive or hurt anyone, can be battery. The person must only intend to make unsolicited contact.

An act that warrants a battery charge is a criminal act that is harmful or offensive contact. Similar to assault, the person does not need to have harmed the victim. As long as the person makes offensive contact, he or she could have committed battery. For example, spitting on someone can constitute a battery charge. Though the spit did not harm or injure anyone, it was offensive contact with another person.

Penalties and Sentencing for Assault and Battery

Like almost all other criminal charges, the specific penalties and sentences vary by state. The court will also adjust the punishment depending on how severe the assault or battery was and how much emotional, mental, or physical damage the victim endured. The court will also take the defendant’s criminal history into account. If the defendant has an extensive history of assault or general criminal activity, it is more likely that the court will punish him or her more severely.

In California, there are two overarching penalties that courts use as baselines for any punishments: simple assault and battery. The basic punishment for simple assault is up to six months in county jail and $1,000 fine, probation, and restitution to the victims. A simple assault is a misdemeanor.

The punishment for battery is more severe. If the court considers the incident a misdemeanor, it can punish the defendant with up to six months in county jail and a maximum of $2,000 fine. If the battery was more severe, the court can consider it a felony. A person convicted of a felony can face up to three years in county jail or state prison, a fine of between $2,000 and $10,000, probation, and restitution to the victims. This is why it is important to contact a Riverside Battery lawyer to defend you and reduce the penalties or even clear your name.

Potential Defenses for Assault and Battery

Defense against PC 24o charges will usually fall into one of three categories: False Allegation, Accident, or Self Defense.

A defense attorney for an assault or battery case has options to justify the defendant’s actions. The criminal defense attorney could argue that the defendant was acting in self-defense. To prove that it was self-defense, the defense attorney must show the court that someone threatened the defendant, the defendant feared or expected harm, the defendant did not provoke anyone, and there was no chance or opportunity to escape the situation.

Another possible defense is that the defendant was defending others or protecting his or her property. The defendant must have had a serious and reasonable fear that another person would suffer an injury. The defense attorney could also attempt to prove that the defendant was preventing damage to his or her property. Various states see property defense differently, but in some places, it can justify a person injuring or threatening someone else. A good Riverside Assault Lawyer can help you build up a strong qualified defense.

Legal Differences Between Assault and Battery in CA?

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.

Types of Assault and Battery

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. Threat crimes attorneys in Riverside proclaim 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 co-worker 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:

  • An intimate partner or family member (this is considered domestic violence battery)
  • A disabled adult
  • An elderly person
  • Any school employee
  • Any sports official performing during a sporting event
  • Anyone on school or hospital grounds or in a public park
  • Anyone on public transit property or in a public transit vehicle

For information on specific Weapon types of assault please talk to our Riverside assault with a deadly weapon lawyer.

Penalties for Riverside Assault and/or Battery Crimes

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. However, a skilled Riverside assault attorney can help to clear your name, and record, all together.

What’s it mean to willfully commit (pc 240) assault?

Someone commits an act “willfully” under (PC 240) assault when he or she does it willingly or on purpose.

It is not required that he or she intend to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage.

What is PC 245(a)(4): Assault by Means of Force/ Great Bodily Injury?

Penal Code 245(a)(4) is the most common form of felony assault in Riverside County, CA. To be charged with assault by force or great bodily injury, the injury mast be significant and substantial, meaning greater than minor or moderate harm.

To prove a defendant guilty, the prosecutor must prove five things:

  • That the defendant did an act that by its nature would directly and probably result in the application of force to a person;
  • The force used was likely to produce great bodily injury
  • The defendant did that act willfully;
  • When the defendant acted, he/she was aware of facts that would lead a reasonable person to realize that his/her act by its nature would directly and probably result in the application of force to someone;
  • When the defendant acted, he/she had the present ability to apply force likely;
  • The defendant did not act in self-defense or defense of someone else.

How to Hire a Riverside Assault Lawyer

Riverside battery and assault 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 our free consultation.

“The service was unparalleled to any other I have experienced. He took care of everything and I never had to miss a day of work! I would recommend him to anyone who is in need of legal services. Polite, professional & gets the job done…” – Criminal Defense Client