Assault is defined as an unlawful attempt, by someone with present ability, to commit a violent injury on another person. An example of a simple assault is when one person takes a swing at another person with his fist during a bar fight. The punch does not have to make contact, as long as there was a possibility that the punch could have landed. For example, if the person throwing the punch was standing so far away that the punch could never make contact with the other person; it would not be considered an assault. If the punch does make contact, it constitutes a battery. A simple assault is a misdemeanor and is punishable by a maximum of six months in jail and/or $1,000 fine. If the assault is committed against certain individuals, such as a police officer or a custodial officer, there is increased punishment and the charge may be elevated to a felony.
An assault is considered aggravated when it is committed by the use of force likely to cause great bodily injury or by the use of a deadly weapon. An aggravated assault may be charged as a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of a year in jail, or as a felony punishable by imprisonment in state prison. The length of the prison sentence will depend on certain factors such as the type of weapon used and/or the seriousness of the injury caused by the assault. Assault with a deadly weapon is a “strike” in California under the Three Strikes Law.
As you can see from above, being charged with an assault could lead to serious consequences. Make sure you have an attorney on your side who has the knowledge and experience needed to competently and aggressively defend your rights.
Call or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation and speak to our attorney who has handled and tried hundreds of assault cases.