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Reseda Assault & Battery Attorney

Reseda Assault & Battery Attorney

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.

Reseda Assault & Battery Attorney

Can the Law Offices of James E. Silverstein Help Me With an Assault Charge?

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.

What Are the Basics of Assault and Battery?

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.

What Are the Various Charges for Assault and Battery?

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:

  • Simple Assault: Simple assault happens when an individual commits threats of violence against another individual. There should also be an attempt to follow through on those threats. A conviction for simple assault will net the defendant up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Simple Battery: Someone committing simple battery makes unlawful contact with another person without their consent. You do not need to cause an injury to be charged with a simple battery, but there must be an attempt to harm the other party during the incident. A simple battery charge is a misdemeanor and will carry similar penalties to simple assault.
  • Aggravated Battery: The state can upgrade a battery charge if it causes severe injuries. A few bruises might not upgrade a battery charge, but a broken bone or a life-threatening injury may. This is a wobbler offense and can either be a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the nature of the case. The misdemeanor version will net a guilty defendant one year in jail, while a felony can extend the penalty to four years in prison.
  • Assault on a Public Official: This crime consists of any attack on a public official to prevent them from performing their duties or for retribution. The law defines public officials as elected government officials, lawyers working for the state, and judges. This charge is also a wobbler and could result in a one-year misdemeanor or three-year felony sentence.
  • Assault With Caustic Chemicals: This charge involves throwing any chemical at someone in an attempt to harm and disfigure them. Examples of caustic chemicals include hydrochloric acid or bleach. This crime is always a felony and can end with a defendant serving a sentence of between two and four years in a state prison.
  • Assault With a Deadly Weapon: The state can charge this crime if you use a weapon like a knife or gun during the assault. A guilty verdict while using a knife is typically a misdemeanor, with a year in jail or a $1,000 fine. Using a firearm that is semiautomatic or automatic carries the potential penalty of nine years in prison.
  • Disturbing the Peace: While not technically an assault variation, law enforcement will often charge it along with assault and battery. The police can charge you with disturbing the peace if you have a fight in public or make a threat against someone while others are around. The maximum penalty for a guilty verdict is six months in jail. If you enter a plea deal for an assault charge, the prosecutor may have you plead guilty to disturbing the peace.
  • Throwing an Object at a Motor Vehicle: Another charge somewhat related to assault, this crime involves someone throwing any object at a vehicle. Some prosecutors choose to charge this instead of assault in applicable cases. Typically, the charge is a misdemeanor, though the prosecutor may upgrade it to a felony if the thrown object causes severe injury or damage.

What Are Some Common Defenses for Assault and Battery?

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:

  • Self-defense: This is, by far, one of the most common defenses for any physical violence, as every person in Reseda has the right to protect themselves and others from harm. If you believe you were under the immediate threat of danger, you can use this as a defense. You will also have to prove the response was justified and reasonable, as you cannot harm someone unreasonably if the situation does not call for it.
  • Mistaken identity: In a fight between strangers, there is always the risk of mistaken identity. People’s memories of events are not always perfect, and police lineups often end with false identification. You’ll have to demonstrate you weren’t at the scene of the crime with an alibi or showcase that you weren’t the person who committed the assault.
  • Consent: California law allows you to participate in a fight if all the participants are willing. When you give consent to be in a fight, you cannot later press charges against another person who followed the rules. For instance, if you agree to a wrestling match with another person, you cannot press charges for any injury that comes from the standard conditions of the match.
  • Illegal procedure from police: Law enforcement has several guidelines they must follow when making an arrest or investigating a crime. If they fail to follow these procedures, your attorney may be able to suppress key evidence in the case and weaken the prosecution’s case.
  • Privilege: In society, some people and organizations have the right to commit assault in the line of duty. For instance, a police officer may attempt to break up a fight they see, as long as they are using reasonable force and are not going outside of their jurisdiction.
  • No intent: If you had no intention of harming someone, you likely weren’t committing assault. You may still be guilty of causing an injury to another person, but not in a criminal manner. It is difficult to prove intent, and you’ll need to demonstrate some evidence that shows you had no malice toward the victim.

What Should I Do if the Police Arrest Me for Assault?

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.

Do I Need an Attorney When Dealing With an Assault Charge?

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.

The Law Offices of James E. Silverstein: Experienced Reseda Assault & Battery Attorney

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.

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Call (747) 230-4468


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