How Assault Is Defined in California & What You Should Do if You Are Accused
When you are accused of assault in Los Angeles, it can be a very confusing time. You may be unclear about the charges against you or wondering what defense you might have that will keep you out of jail. There is one thing that you can be certain about, and that is the prosecution’s intent to make you pay for your alleged crime.
Understand Assault as Defined by California Law
“An assault is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another,” according to California Penal Code 240.
Based on California law, there are two main components of the definition of assault that you need to understand. First, for you to be found guilty of assault, you have to have “attempted” to commit the crime. Second, you have to have the “ability” to do it.
It is important to recognize too that a distinction exists between assault and battery—they are not one and the same. Under California Penal Code 242, battery is defined as “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.” Battery is simply an assault that is executed.
Possible Defenses for Assault
In California, if you are found guilty of assault, you could be looking at time behind bars, a substantial fine and other penalties. Therefore, you need to take a close look at the possible defenses to this crime. For example, if you can show that you did not have the “present ability” to commit the act, you may not be found guilty. Your defense lawyer might also be able to argue that you acted in self-defense or had no intent to carry out the crime. There are other possible defenses that should be discussed with a knowledgeable Los Angeles assault attorney.
Get Help Today
An assault charge on your criminal record can be detrimental to your future. If you or a family member has been Charged With Assault in Torrance, you need to take action immediately. At the Law Offices of Robert Ernenwein, we have extensive experience defending the rights of individuals in Los Angeles County and the surrounding areas. Mr. Ernenwein is a former Los Angeles prosecutor and will put his knowledge and experience to work with each and every case he represents.
Contact a Los Angeles or Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer today at 310-375-5858 for a free case review.