Assault and Battery
A conviction for a violent crime may have serious and long-term consequences for your life. If you have been charged with assault or battery, you need to reach out to a skilled violent crime attorney who can help you understand your rights. With nearly 30 years of experience, San Diego assault defense lawyer Roseline D. Feral recognizes the seriousness of any charge. She takes great personal satisfaction from working to protect the rights and futures of her clients.Fighting an Assault or Battery Charge
Someone who commits a simple assault or battery in California will be charged with a misdemeanor, although certain assault and battery crimes may be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony at the prosecutor’s discretion.
While assault and battery are distinct criminal offenses, they may be carried out in the same act. Under California Penal Code Section 240, simple assault is defined as an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to inflict a violent injury on the person of someone else. In order to prove a charge of simple assault, a prosecutor must establish the following:
- The defendant performed an act that by its nature would probably and directly result in using force against another person;
- The defendant acted willfully;
- The defendant was aware that their act would reasonably result in using force against someone else;
- The defendant had the present ability to use force against that person; and
- The defendant was not acting in self-defense.
For example, taking a swing at someone during an argument would constitute simple assault in California. You should be aware that a person does not need to make physical contact with another person or cause any injury to be charged and convicted of simple assault. If a person is convicted of misdemeanor simple assault, they may face up to $1,000 in fines, up to six months in jail, and probation for up to six months. This is why it is important to retain an assault defense attorney in San Diego if you are facing this type of charge.
Under California Penal Code Section 242, a battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of someone else. To prove a charge of battery, a prosecutor must establish that the defendant intentionally and unlawfully touched another person in a harmful or offensive manner, and the defendant did not act in self-defense, in defense of someone else, or while reasonably disciplining a child.
To be clear, the distinction between the two charges is that battery requires physical harmful or offensive contact with another person, whereas assault does not require any physical contact. If a person is convicted of simple battery, they might face up to $2,000 in fines, up to six months in jail, and probation for up to six months.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, there may be several defenses that may be appropriate. One such defense is that you were responding in self-defense or defense of someone else. This is because a person is allowed to use force against someone else to protect themselves or other people from imminent harm. Another example of a defense would be that the physical contact was not intentional but instead an accident. Other defenses may include being the wrong person accused of the crime or being in a situation in which the accuser lied about the incident. A lawyer will be able to determine which defense may apply, if any, after thoroughly reviewing the facts of your case.Contact a San Diego Lawyer Skilled in Assault Defense
Assault and battery charges should never be taken lightly. If you are facing assault and battery charges, you should not delay in contacting an experienced San Diego assault defense attorney who can explore the full scope of your options. You can rest assured that we can investigate the case against you and aggressively defend you at every step of the way. We also represent people in Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, Carlsbad, Encinitas, La Jolla, Oceanside, Escondido, Ramona, Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos, Valley Center, and Vista, among other Southern California cities. For more information, contact us online or call our office at 619-232-1010. You may also call Attorney Feral directly at 619-301-1191 if you need a free consultation with a criminal defense lawyer or DUI attorney.