Assault and battery are serious crimes, and violent offenses will often result in harsh penalties. However, you shouldn’t have to deal with long-term punishment for a simple mistake or false accusation. If you or someone you know is dealing with such a charge, you need a Reseda assault & battery attorney on your side to represent you and ensure the court hears your side of the story.
At the Law Offices of James E. Silverstein, we regularly give our clients the legal help they need when dealing with a criminal charge. Whether you are dealing with a felony or misdemeanor charge, we want to help you and can do everything possible to aid you in avoiding the maximum penalties.
James E. Silverstein is an attorney with over 20 years of legal experience and countless successful trials to his name. Mr. Silverstein has made it his mission to represent clients of all kinds and attempts to provide the same excellent quality of service to everyone.
Prior to opening his practice, Mr. Silverstein worked as a law clerk for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. During this time, he saw the criminal justice system from the state’s side, prosecuting offenders for white-collar crimes. He uses this experience to aid in the legal defense of his clients, and he can help you as well.
While some states do not distinguish between assault and battery, in California, the two are separate crimes. They are often charged together, but it is possible to commit assault and not battery. Assault is also one of the most common crimes in California.
The California Penal Code defines assault in Section 240 as the intention and threat of committing harm to another person. For instance, if you assume a fighting stance against another person or make a credible threat of violence, you may be committing assault without ever touching the person.
Battery is the physical component, and you can find the proper legislation in California Penal Code Section 242. When you make physical contact with another person without their consent and with the intent to harm, that constitutes battery. The physical contact can be anything from a punch to a shove or an attempt to trip the other party.
Assault and battery are expansive crimes with many different variations. These related crimes often involve aggravating circumstances, and many cases may include multiple charges. Penalties can vary greatly depending on which aggravating factors are present and which types of charges are levied.
Some crimes related to assault and battery include:
While they may seem like fairly straightforward cases, there are many legal defenses for assault or battery. The strategies may assert that the defendant had the right to commit an assault or argue that the defendant did not commit the assault. You’ll want to speak with your Reseda assault attorney about which strategy to pursue and how to present your case to the court.
Some of the legal defenses for assault include:
If the police place you under arrest for any crime, you need to remain calm above all else. Making a mistake while in police custody could end with you saying something incriminating or dealing with another charge.
When the police arrest you, they should recite your Miranda Rights to you. The two most important of these rights are your privilege to remain silent and to have an attorney present. We strongly recommend invoking both of these rights immediately. You should demand to see your Reseda assault & battery attorney as soon as possible.
After an arrest and while you are sitting in the police vehicle or station, officers will typically try to start a conversation to attempt to make you talk. Once you start talking, you may begin to reveal incriminating details about the case, even if you don’t know it. While the police may act friendly, they are probing you for information.
Resist the urge to explain your side of the story to law enforcement and wait until your lawyer is present before making any statements.
Once your lawyer is at the scene, fully debrief them on the situation. Explain what happened as you saw it, and don’t leave out any details for fear of incriminating yourself. Your attorney cannot use any incriminating statements against you, and they will need to know as much information as possible to formulate an effective legal defense.
While you have the right to represent yourself in court, we strongly recommend against it, as do most legal scholars. Attempting self-representation in court may sound appealing, but it puts you in danger of losing your case and serving the maximum sentence for the crime. The smartest way to defend yourself against a charge is to hire a Reseda criminal defense attorney to assist you through the trial.
Your attorney can stand with you throughout the entire process, from pre-trial motions to sentencing. An attorney in Reseda, CA will know how to navigate the courtroom proceedings in a way a layperson cannot, no matter how much research they attempt to complete before the trial.
During these pre-trial proceedings, your attorney may be able to convince a judge to suppress evidence that the police illegally obtained. Knowing when to file for suppression of evidence comes with experience, and trying to handle the case without an attorney may lead you to miss out on such a boost to your chances.
Many prosecutors want to end a case as quickly as they can, so they opt for plea deals they offer to defendants. In a plea deal, a defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a more lenient sentence. Your attorney can negotiate a plea deal and ensure you are getting a fair offer from the state before advising you on whether to accept it or not. You will still have the final say on accepting the deal.
An attorney will also provide an objective and unbiased perspective on the case. While you may want to see a trial through to the end, your attorney can give you honest advice if they believe you don’t have a reasonable chance in open court and should settle for a plea bargain.
Though it is a common crime in California, you should take an assault and battery charge seriously. The crimes will remain on your criminal record, and aggravating circumstances could lead to a felony charge and a loss of some of your rights. You need a Reseda assault and battery attorney who will tirelessly advocate for you in and out of court.
At the Law Offices of James E. Silverstein, we aim to help clients from all walks of life with their criminal defense. Contact us today for a consultation.