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Sherman Oaks Assault & Battery Attorney

Sherman Oaks Assault & Battery Attorney

Sherman Oaks Assault & Battery Lawyer

If you have been charged with assault, battery, or other related criminal charges, you need to reach out to an experienced Sherman Oaks assault & battery attorney as soon as possible. These charges can affect your employment, current and future housing opportunities, and your ability to qualify for public benefits. The Law Offices of James E. Silverstein can work to protect your rights, discuss your legal options, and work towards the most desirable outcome in your case.

Sherman Oaks Assault & Battery Attorney

What Is Assault & Battery?

In California, assault and battery are distinct but related offenses. According to California Penal Code Section 240, assault is unlawfully attempting to violently injure someone along with the ability to do it. This means that you don’t have to make physical contact with another person to have committed assault, just that you had the intent and ability to injure them.

Battery is defined in Section 242 as using violence or force unlawfully against another individual. Unlike assault, battery involves actual physical contact, no matter how minimal. This can include a slap, grab, or bumping into as long as it holds an intent to harm another.

They are often charged together because they commonly occur during the same incident.

Types of Assault & Battery Scenarios

According to California Penal Code Section 245(a)(1), these scenarios can result in criminal charges of assault or battery, or both.

  • Striking or threatening to strike someone with a weapon or object
  • Threatening to kill someone while pointing a gun at them
  • Shooting a person with a gun
  • Assault or battery while committing robbery or sexual assault
  • Assault or battery that results in serious physical injury or permanent disfigurement
  • Assault while concealing your identity
  • Assault or battery against a police officer, health care provider, social worker, a person with a disability, elderly person, or child
  • Intentionally tripping a person
  • Shoving or pushing a person
  • Hitting or punching a person
  • Bar fighting
  • Rape or sexual assault
  • Domestic violence

Types of Assault & Battery Charges

The charges you may be facing will depend on the circumstances of the offense and the severity of the harm caused. The types of assault and battery charges in Sherman Oaks or any area in California include simple and aggravated.

Simple assault is an intentional act that causes another person to fear imminent bodily harm but does not always involve physical contact. This is typically charged as a misdemeanor. Aggravated assault involves assault with the use of a deadly weapon with the intent to commit a serious bodily injury. It is more serious if the victim is a law enforcement officer, an elderly person, a child, or the defendant has a previous criminal history, but both are typically charged as a felony.

Simple battery involves the willful and unlawful use of force or violence against another person. Unlike assault, battery involves physical contact. This is typically charged as a misdemeanor. Aggravated battery involves battery but with the use of a deadly weapon and/or causes serious bodily injury or permanent disfigurement. This is typically charged as a felony.

Additionally, domestic battery is a charge that involves the use of violence or force against a spouse, former spouse, roommate, family member, or co-parent. This charge is usually a misdemeanor.

Consequences of Assault & Battery Charges

Assault and battery charges in California come with serious consequences, including criminal penalties and civil liabilities, such as:

Criminal Penalties

If you are convicted of assault and/or battery, you can face a misdemeanor or felony. For misdemeanor assault or battery, you can face months in jail and fines. Felony assault or battery can result in a prison sentence and a fine, depending on the circumstances.


In addition, or in lieu of incarceration, you may be placed on probation. This requires you to comply with attending counseling or performing community service.


You may be ordered to compensate the victim for any damages or losses that came from the assault or battery, including medical expenses, therapy costs, lost wages, and property damage.

Civil Lawsuits

The victim may file a civil lawsuit against you seeking compensation for the damages, which can include economic damages like medical expenses, non-economic damages like pain and suffering, and punitive damages.

Future Opportunities

A criminal record can limit your future employment opportunities, professional licenses, and educational opportunities. Some career options may be off-limits to those with a criminal record, especially ones that work with vulnerable populations or handle sensitive information.

Personal Relationships

Assault and battery charges can strain personal relationships with family, friends, and partners or spouses. A criminal conviction also comes with social stigma and potential isolation.

Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is a deadline that applies to claims. Under California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1, a person has two years from the date of the act to file a claim. If the claim is made against government agencies (such as police officers or correctional officers), a person has six months or 180 days from the date of the act to file a claim.

There are some situations where California courts might provide an exception to the statute of limitations, such as:

  • The person has a mental or physical incapacitation after the injury
  • The injured person is a minor, so the statute of limitations time limit will begin on their 18th birthday
  • The injury was not discovered until later, after the assault and battery took place

Common Defenses of Assault & Battery Defendants

Our law team can look at the facts of your case and decide what potential defense strategies may be used. Common defenses for assault and battery include:


Under the argument of self-defense, an individual has the right to use reasonable force to defend themselves from imminent harm or danger. It is important to keep in mind that the use of force must be proportional to the threat you are facing. It must be shown that you did not have any other reasonable option available to prove self-defense.

Defending Others

Similar to self-defense, the defense of others allows you to use reasonable force to protect another person from imminent harm or danger. You must be able to demonstrate imminent threat, reasonable belief that the force used was necessary to defend another person, and the force used is proportional to the threat faced.

Defending Property

California does limit the use of force to defend property, but it may be justified in certain circumstances. The force must be reasonable and proportional to the opposing threat.

Voluntary/Mutually Agreed Upon Combat

Voluntary combat, also known as mutual combat or mutual affray, is a defense that argues both parties willingly got into a physical altercation, both equally participated, and no excessive force or deadly weapons were used.


In some cases, it could be argued that the alleged victim may have consented to the contact or the actions that resulted in the assault or battery, but this may not be a valid defense if it can be proven that consent was obtained through coercion or fraud.

Police Conduct

Police officers are legally allowed to apply force if it is necessary during a lawful arrest, and injuries sustained from this force are not grounds for a criminal case.


Provocation may be used, but its applicability is limited. It cannot be argued that words or insults justified an assault or battery against a person, but it may be used to lower charges such as murder or voluntary manslaughter.

Lack of Intent or Accident

Assault and battery charges require proof of intent to cause harm. This means that if you can show that you did not have the intent to commit the alleged offense, then lack of intent can be a defense strategy. It could also be argued that the incident was accidental.

Damages That Victims Can Recover

Assault and battery incidents can cause serious physical and mental injuries that come with lifelong consequences. Common injuries are:

  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Lacerations, bruises, or contusions
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Torn ligaments
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Emotional and psychological trauma
  • Death

Due to the severity of these injuries, alleged victims can press civil charges for certain compensation, called damages, including economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

Economic damages can be calculated monetarily and include medical expenses such as hospitalization costs, medication, rehabilitation, and therapy, lost wages due to the inability to work during recovery, and property damage costs.

Non-economic damages cannot be calculated monetarily but involve compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, and loss of consortium (or loss of companionship, affection, or support).

Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant if the case involves particularly egregious conduct, such as intentional or reckless behavior.

Why You Need an Assault & Battery Lawyer in Sherman Oaks

The penalties, both criminal and civil, for assault and battery offenses can be harsh and life-changing. If you are charged with a battery offense, contacting a Sherman Oaks assault & battery lawyer at the Law Offices of James E. Silverstein as soon as possible will ensure the protection of your rights and get you the legal help you may need.

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Call (747) 230-4468


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