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SAN DIEGO Assault and Battery Lawyer

Defending Assault and Battery Charges in California | Zentz & Zentz

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Have you recently been charged with assault and battery in the San Diego area? If so, it is crucial to contact an experienced attorney for legal representation. When you are charged with assault and battery, a lawyer can help you in the earliest stages of your defense to ensure you have the best possible outcome.

Regardless of the reason for your charge, a skilled San Diego assault and battery attorney should be your first phone call.

Everything You Need to Know About Assault and Battery Charges

San Diego’s Zentz & Zentz Attorneys at Law has a reputation for providing excellent client services while also fighting aggressively on behalf of our clients. We will work with you to develop a strong defense strategy and do everything legally possible to protect your rights.

If you have been arrested and charged with this crime, contact our San Diego criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible. As you research your legal options, it is vital to understand the charges themselves.

The Differences Between Assault and Battery

In California, there are two separate crimes a person can be charged with if they cause injury to another individual: assault and battery. The difference between the two is subtle but very significant. Unfortunately, the difference is so subtle that many people believe these charges are the same, but they couldn’t be more different.

The main difference between assault and battery is the use of force or violence. Assault does not involve the use of anyphysical force. Instead, assault is defined as an attempt to commit a violent injury on someone else, coupled with the present ability to cause that violence.

Battery, on the other hand, does involve physical contact. Battery is defined as any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon another person. The penalties for assault and battery vary depending on the situation, previous charges, and the harm done to the other person, among other things. If you have been charged with either of these crimes, you need to contact an experienced San Diego assault lawyer.

What Is the Minimum Sentence for Battery?

The minimum sentence for a battery conviction is up to six months in jail. However, if you have been charged with simple assault and battery, a misdemeanor charge, you may be able to have your case dismissed if you can complete a diversion program. This is not available for felony assault and battery charges. In some cases, your attorney can argue that a felony charge is too steep a penalty considering the circumstances.

It’s also essential to note that each case is unique. The court has discretion in determining the length of jail time, as well as whether or not you will be required to pay a fine. This is why it’s vital to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in San Diego.

Which Charge Is Worse, Assault or Battery?

Assault and battery are both serious charges. Typically, in California, battery is a more severe charge than assault because battery involves physical contact with another person. Assault does not involve anyphysical contact. Battery, on the other hand, requires some sort of violent touching or striking. The battery charge may even cause more prison time for a given crime.

The penalties for assault and battery are significant. An experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney can provide you with information about your legal options, as well as the possible penalties you may face.

Assault and Battery Defense in the Military

In the military, assault and battery charges are taken very seriously. Additionally, they may be treated more severely than in civilian cases because of how vital it is to maintain discipline within the ranks.

This means that if you are convicted of assault or battery in the military, it will stay on your record. This could potentially affect your military career and any job prospects after you leave the service. There is also the possibility of being kicked out of the military altogether.

The same definitions of assault and battery apply in the military as in civilian cases. However, the consequences of a conviction may be more severe in some cases. If you have been charged with assault or battery while on active duty, you mustimmediately consult a highly experienced military criminal defense attorney.

How Long Do You Go to Jail for Assault in California?

The amount of jail time you are required to serve for assault in California will depend on the severity of your crime. The court has discretion over this and may require you to serve up to six months in jail. However, if this is your first offense and it isn’t very serious, you may be able to avoid jail time.

It’s also a good idea to note that you may be required to pay a fine in addition to your jail sentence. The fine amount will also depend on the severity of your crime. For example, if you caused significant injury to another person due to your assault, you may be required to pay a fine of up to $2,000.

Assault With a Deadly Weapon in San Diego

Assault with a deadly weapon in California is a serious offense. A deadly weapon is defined as any object that was used to cause death to another person. This offense involves the use of a deadly weapon or firearm on another person without their consent. This charge is much more serious than a typical assault charge and will face harsher penalties as a result.

Assault with a deadly weapon involves any weapon that can cause“great bodily harm” to another person, resulting in serious injury. These types of injuries could include (but are not limited to):

  • Loss of limb
  • Bone fracture or breaks
  • Dismemberment
  • Burns, chemical burns, or electrical injuries that cause severe damage to the tissue
  • Loss of eyesight or hearing
  • Loss of consciousness

Because this is a more severe charge than simple assault, it draws harsher penalties. The penalties for assault with a deadly weapon can be severe.

In the state of California, this charge is considered a“wobble” offense—meaning it can be tried as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on other variables of the charges, such as:

  • The seriousness of the injury: If the injury is very serious, then you may be charged with a felony. However, the charge may lessen depending on how the court sees the severity of the injury.
  • Whether a deadly weapon was used as a threat: If you merely threatened to use your weapon, you may be charged with a misdemeanor. However, if you used the weapon against another person or their property, you may be charged with a felony.
  • The weapon involved: If the weapon used was a firearm, you will likely be charged with a felony, as this is a very serious charge. Any other object outside of a firearm is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. It is important to note that assault with a deadly weapon can also involve using your vehicle to threaten or injure another person.

What’s the Sentence for a Battery Charge?

The sentence you can expect if convicted of battery in California will depend on the severity of your crime. Like assault, battery is also a misdemeanor charge. However, it’s essential to note that the most serious battery charges are felonies. In addition, there are some distinctions between cases that will affect your sentencing.

Simple Battery

Simple battery, for example, is a misdemeanor charge. In these cases, it means there was physical contact with another person, but no devastating injuries were caused. The penalties for simple battery will include up to six months in jail or community service and a fine of up to $2,000.

Examples of simple battery include (but are not limited to):

  • Punching another person
  • Slapping someone in the face
  • Hitting someone with an object that isn’t sharp or dangerous
  • Attempting to steal a possession belonging to someone else

Simple battery charges are considered to be less severe than other types of battery charges. However, this charge is still classified as a misdemeanor offense, resulting in penalties that you will need to know.

Battery Causing Serious Injury

Battery causing serious injury is also a misdemeanor charge. However, these charges are considered “wobbler offenses”—meaning they could be instead charged as a felony, depending on the seriousness and severity of the offense, the damage done, and the court’s discretion. It’s also crucial to note that if the battery was inflicted upon a police officer or other protected official, then the severity of the charges and punishments will rise in intensity.

Examples of battery causing serious injury can include (but are not limited to):

  • Punching someone in the face or head
  • Slapping another person across the face until their skin breaks and bleeds
  • Kicking someone in the stomach or kicking them so hard that you break their ribs
  • Physical contact with someone’s genitals (male or female)

Battery causing severe injury charges are considered more severe than simple battery and can result in a maximum of one year behind bars, along with the possibility of fines up to $2,000. These are examples of physical contact that can lead to serious injury, but they do not represent the full spectrum. This charge could be brought when an individual has caused another person injury, even if the intent was not to cause such harm—it could be brought if the person was simply acting irresponsibly. It is important to note that battery causing serious injury can include harm done through contact with a deadly weapon, such as a firearm or knife.

Battery Resulting in Death

Battery resulting in death is the most serious charge. If convicted of this offense, you can expect the charges and sentencing to be much harsher, often including years of incarceration.The sentencing for battery resulting in death will vary depending on the circumstances of your crime, but it is considered to be a felony charge.

Examples of battery resulting in death can include (but are not limited to):

  • Punching someone in the face, causing them to fall and hit their head on a hard surface. This is an example of how a simple fight can transform into a deadly interaction with no premeditation.
  • Slapping someone across the face until their skin breaks and bleeds, causing them to fall and hit their head on a hard surface. This might sound like an extreme example, but it is not unheard of.
  • Kicking someone in the stomach or kicking them so hard that you break their ribs, causing any life-threatening injury that results in death. Rib injuries on their own can be harmless, but they can also cause the bone to puncture other organs in the right situation.
  • Attacking someone in a violent manner where the attack is so powerful that it causes them to have a heartattack or stroke on impact. The intent doesn’t have to be to severely harm anyone, but a fierce attack that causes a heart condition can be included in such a charge. This is true even if the assailant didn’t know the victim had any underlying conditions.

Battery resulting in death is the most serious battery charge. If convicted, you could face up to a minimum of up to four years behind bars. In some cases, you could face life imprisonment. These sentences are only given when the court determines that a defendant has been acting with malice or an intent to cause harm. However, this determination is often based on factors that a strong legal team can argue in your favor.

Find a Skilled San Diego Assault and Battery Attorney Today

Assault and battery charges are serious offenses, and you should not take them lightly. While you need to take these charges seriously and serve justice where justice is due, many cases do not provide sufficient evidence to convict. This is why it is so important to seek an experienced attorney. The right professional will understand how best to protect your rights and fight for you in court, presenting the most robust possible defense.

Your legal defense should start once you have been charged with assault or battery in San Diego. To that end, leverage your right to remain silent. It’s essential to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to best understand your position so that professionals can examine the uniqueness of your case and help you in the best possible way.

Your best option is to mount a strong defense. Don’t wait to build your defense against these serious charges. Contact the Zentz&Zentz law firm today for more information.

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