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Assault Defense Attorney in Los Angeles, California

A conviction for assault can lead to devastating consequences in California. The Golden State has some of the toughest laws and penalties for violent crimes, including assault and battery. If you are facing assault charges in California, your freedom is at stake. Contact a skilled criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles, California, to discuss your defense options.

Our lead attorney John Goalwin is committed to aggressively and compassionately fighting for your rights. Attorney Goalwin takes a comprehensive approach to criminal defense and provides thoughtful, detailed representation to clients in Los Angeles, Van Nuys, Compton, Torrance, and surrounding areas in Southern California.

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Types of Assault in California

Under California law, you can face assault charges if you unlawfully attempt to inflict bodily injury upon another person and have the actual ability to do so.

California law recognizes different types of assault charges, including:

  1. Simple assault

  2. Assault with a deadly weapon

  3. Aggravated assault

  4. Assault on a police officer

  5. Battery

Many people use the terms “assault” and “battery” interchangeably, but these two refer to two separate criminal offenses in California. Unlike assault, which does not necessarily involve physical contact, battery occurs when a person knowingly and intentionally causes injury or inflicts harmful contact upon another person.

In California, assault can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances and nature of the defendant’s conduct and the extent of the harm inflicted upon the other person. A misdemeanor and felony assault conviction may lead to such penalties as:

  • Probation

  • Jail sentence

  • Fines

  • Community service

Facing assault charges can be stressful and intimidating. That is why it’s important to consult with an assault defense attorney in Los Angeles, California, to determine your options moving forward.

Simple Assault

Simple assault is the least severe type of assault charge in California. Per California law, the simple kind of assault occurs when a person intends to physically injure another person and has the ability to do so without using a weapon. Thus, you can be guilty of simple assault even if you did not actually touch the alleged victim forcefully.

Example: You get into an argument and attempt to punch another person, but miss. Typically, simple assault is charged as a misdemeanor in California. A simple assault conviction carries harsh penalties that may include a maximum sentence in a county jail of six months in addition to fines.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault is a more serious crime in California. This type of offense occurs when a person attempts to inflict bodily harm upon another person while using or having the ability to use a deadly weapon, including a firearm, knife, hammer, screwdriver, or any other object or weapon that can cause great bodily injuries.

Example: You get into an argument and attempt or threaten to strike another person with a deadly weapon or dangerous object. Assault that involves the use of a deadly weapon can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense. Possible penalties for aggravated assault may include up to four years in prison and hefty fines.

Assault vs. Battery

While assault and battery are relatively similar, California treats them as two separate crimes. It is essential to understand the difference between assault and battery in California to know what kind of penalties you could be facing and what defenses your attorney can use.

Unlawful and intentional use of physical force upon another person is considered “battery.” Thus, while assault is an attempt to use physical force upon another person, battery is the actual use of physical force.

Example: You get into an argument and strike another person, causing bodily injury. Battery is usually prosecuted as a misdemeanor unless the crime led to serious bodily harm. Individuals convicted of misdemeanor battery may be sentenced to up to six months in jail and ordered to pay fines.

Assault Defense Attorney in Los Angeles, California

If you are facing assault charges, Attorney John Goalwin is prepared to work diligently on your case. Attorney Goalwin and our team will ensure that you understand the nature of the charges against you, the potential consequences, and your defense options. Schedule a case evaluation with our assault defense attorney in Los Angeles, California, to start developing a strong defense