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Los Angeles Assault Defense Attorney

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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 assault crime 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 representation.

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 assault crime 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!

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