Assault & Battery
I’ve been charged with Assault. What am I facing?
If you are convicted of misdemeanor assault in California, you can be incarcerated for up to six (6) months in the county jail. Other non-incarceration penalties include three years of summary or informal probation, a maximum fine of $1,000, successful completion of a batterer’s program and/or community service.
If you are convicted of felony assault, you can be sentenced to up to four (4) years state prison. Alternatively, if you are granted probation, you may be ordered to serve up to one (1) year in the county jail.
Assault with a weapon can be charged as a felony “Strike” in California under the Three Strikes Law. If you are charged with felony assault involving a weapon, such an offense is a “Strike.”
Robert Ernenwein is a former Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney and is certified as a Criminal Law Specialist by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Robert Ernenwein has been named a “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine and has appeared as a legal analyst on multiple cable news programs, including Fox News. The experience and capabilities of the Law Offices of Robert Ernenwein are unmatched.
His extensive experience and knowledge gives him the tools needed to successfully challenge assault and battery charges.
I’ve been accused of assault? What do I do?
If you have been accused of assault, you must be careful not to give an admission or confession to a police officer or other law enforcement. The prosecutor can and/or will use any such admissions or confessions against you in court. If a detective or police officer has attempted to reach you, you should be aware that you have the right to remain silent and that you have the right to an attorney present at any interrogation.
Robert Ernenwein has represented individuals accused of assault for over 30 years.
I understand that the prosecutor has the burden of proof to show that I am guilty of assault. What does the prosecutor have to prove up my guilt?
Under Cal. Pen. Code §240, a misdemeanor assault is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another. The prosecutor must show:
- That you acted “willfully” (in other words, “on purpose.”)
- That you were aware that the act would result in an “application of force” to the victim (in other words, even slight
touching but in a rude or angry way, even if it causes no pain or injury); and
- When you acted, you had the “present ability” to apply force.
Remember, no actual touching has to occur for you to be convicted of assault.
Under California Penal Code 245(a)(1), the prosecutor can charge you with felony assault if you used a deadly weapon or a means of force that was likely to cause great bodily harm to the victim.
Under California Penal Code section 242, or “simple battery,” the prosecutor must show:
- that you willfully and unlawfully touched the victim;
- that you touched the victim in a harmful or offensive manner
Under California Penal Code section 243, the battery can be charged as a felony if there was bodily injury in addition to the aforesaid elements.
If you have been charged with assault or battery, and would like to find out more about the charge, please contact us at 310-375-5858 or e-mail us to discuss your case with Robert Ernenwein, a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers Our attorney consultations are free of charge.
What tools can Robert Ernenwein use to defend me?
Our team is skilled at thoroughly reviewing the evidence, such as police reports, witness statements and any available forensic and other evidence. We often employ the use of an investigator, if needed, to interview witnesses who may have witnessed the alleged incident. Our review of discovery and witness interviews may yield evidence that shows your innocence or which diminishes or weakens the prosecution’s case against you. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, we may use any of the following defenses on your behalf:
- You were defending yourself or another person: If you harbored a reasonable and honest belief that someone was about to harm you or another person, California law permits you to defend yourself. However, the type of force that you used to defend yourself must have been reasonable under the circumstances. For example, you cannot pull out a gun or other lethal weapon to defend yourself against someone attacking you with their fists or feet. You are, however, under such circumstances, allowed to defend yourself with the same or similar amount of force.
- You lacked the intent to commit a battery: Because assault is considered an “attempt” crime, you must have had the intent to exact some physical injury on the person you are accused of assaulting. For example, if you threatened to beat someone up with a baseball bat, but did not have a bat or access to one, you are not guilty of assault because you did not have the intention of carrying out the attack. (However, you may be charged with Criminal Threats).
- You did not have the ability to commit the assault: If you threatened to harm someone but did not have the actual ability to carry out a battery, you are not guilty of assault. (But, again, you may be charged with Criminal Threats).
- You were misidentified as the perpetrator. You may be the victim of mistaken identification. Or someone may have filed a false police report or made a false statement to the police accusing you of the crime, because of a grudge or some other ulterior motive.
- The victim consented to the attempted battery. An attempt made with the consent of the victim will not constitute an assault.
There are many issues we can evaluate based on our analysis of the police reports, witness statements and other evidence on file. Based on our findings, we may be able to successfully thwart a criminal prosecution in court, or otherwise weaken the case against you.
Robert Ernenwein will delve through the available evidence to construct the best possible legal defense. Call us at 310-375-5858 for your free consultation.
What is the advantage of using Robert Ernenwein over another lawyer?
The advantages are many. By hiring our office, you are securing the help of a law firm with established, reputable, aggressive criminal defense lawyers with many years of experience. Few, if any, other attorneys have this impressive combination of background, skill and distinction.