Los Angeles Assault Defense Attorney
Hire a Firm with 70+ Years of Legal Experience
The city of Los Angeles has a low tolerance for crimes involving assault.
Assault is aggressively prosecuted, and is often penalized with substantial
monetary fines and incarceration in county jail or state prison. If you
are being investigated for assault, or have already been formally charged,
it is highly recommended that you contact a criminal defense lawyer at
Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners. We can put more than 70 years of
experience to work for you. We will attempt to provide an aggressive defense
in your case that may result in a reduction or dismissal of your charges.
The Difference Between Assault & Battery
Assault and battery are frequently charged together, but they are, in fact,
completely different offenses. While
battery involves the actual use of violence or force against someone, assault
involves an illegal attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit
violent injury against another. In other words, you do not actually need
to physically touch someone in order to be charged with assault. The penalties
for an assault or battery conviction will vary depending on the severity
of the crime—since assault and battery can both be charged as either
a misdemeanor or felony offense.
Will I Be Charged with a Misdemeanor or Felony?
According to California Penal Code § 240, you could be charged with
simple assault if you knowingly attempt to physically injure someone else,
or even threaten to take violent action. This could include a situation
like taking a swing at someone during an argument, but missing. If the
situation rises to a level of actual
physical violence, the assailant could be charged with battery. While most simple assault
cases will be charged as a misdemeanor, there are certain aggravating
factors that could make it a "wobbler"— meaning that it
could be charged as a misdemeanor or felony.
The following types of simple assault are wobblers:
- Assault against a custodial officer at a jail or prison
- Assault against a school district police officer
- Assault against a juror by a party in the case
One could also be charged with
assault with a deadly weapon or force likely to produce great bodily injury, which is commonly known
as aggravated assault or ADW. This is a much more serious assault charge.
Assault with a deadly weapon is prosecuted as a felony punishable in state
prison by up to four years. When you work with an experienced criminal
lawyer in Los Angeles, they may be able to get the aggravated assault
charge reduced to simple assault. For this reason,
don't plead guilty or accept a plea bargain until you have had the chance to retain legal
What Are the Penalties for Assault in California?
If you have been charged with assault, the severity of the penalties that
you face will be dependent on the nature of the crime. For example, simple
assault will carry different penalties than assault against a healthcare
provider or public worker who was, at the time, performing their duties.
These workers may include doctors and nurses, firefighters, lifeguards,
paramedics, highway workers, public transportation employees, etc. If
charged with the latter offense, you could expect to face enhanced penalties.
Similarly, the penalties will be even more severe if you are convicted
of felony assault.
The penalties for simple assault may include:
- Up to six months in county jail
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- Up to six months of probation
The penalties for assault against a public worker may include:
- Up to one year in county jail
- Up to $2,000 in fines
- Up to one year of probation
The penalties for a "wobbler" assault may include:
- Up to three years in jail or state prison
- Up to $2,000 in fines
- Up to three years of probation
Why Hire Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners?
Regardless of whether you have been charged with simple assault or aggravated
assault, it is important to retain the services of a Los Angeles criminal
defense attorney as soon as you have been arrested. You could be facing
several years in jail or state prison, so there is no reason why you should
settle for anything less than the aggressive representation that you deserve.
The team at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners has more than seven decades
of experience representing individuals against criminal charges. Don't
wait to take action; contact our firm today to find out what we can do for you!
Call our office today to discuss your legal options.
Your initial consultation is free!