Being Arrested on Assault & Battery Charges in Sonoma, Marin, Napa and anywhere in the North Bay

While almost always prosecuted jointly, assault and battery are two different offenses.
Under the California Penal Code, assault is defined as, “an unlawful attempt, coupled with the present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.”  Essentially this means that if you have been charged for allegedly violating this provision of the California Penal Code the prosecutor will have to prove that you committed an illegal act of force which was likely to result in an injury to another person.
Similarly, Section 242 of the California Penal Code defines a battery as, “any willful unlawful use of force or violence upon a person of another.”  This is a broad definition, meaning that varying degrees of contact with another person without their consent could lead to a battery charge.
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What are the possible punishments for Assault and Battery?
Depending on whether or not the crime is classified as a misdemeanor or felony, the punishment is harsh. If you are convicted of even a simple assault and battery the court could potentially sentence you to six months in the county jail, community service, a fine up to $1,000, among other sanctions.
However, the judge has discretion to increase the sentence depending upon other factors in the case.
For example, if an assault is committed against a custodial officer, you could receive a one-year imprisonment sentence, or if the alleged offense occurred in a park, you could be sentenced to serve a term of imprisonment in the county jail for one year and pay a $2,000 fine. Using weapons or other aggravating factors often make the sentence much harsher.
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What defenses can I assert to fight the charges?
Just because you have been charged with an assault or battery does not mean that you will face punishment.
First, because you are innocent until proven guilty, it is the burden of the state (or the Prosecutor) to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime. This means, that the prosecutor will have to convince the jury that there are no doubts that you committed the elements which make up the offense. The beyond a reasonable doubt burden is a very big uphill battle for prosecutors, but they sometimes try to lessen the standard by throwing in an improper jury instruction or inappropriate statement to the jury equating the burden with “common sense.” That will never fly with our representation.
Second, you have the right to defend the charges against you in court. There are a number of possible defenses to the crimes of assault and battery that may be used to avoid a conviction. However, each arrest is unique so whether or not a specific defense is available will depend upon the nature of your case and all of the facts and circumstances.  In all cases evidence can be presented which casts doubt upon whether the conduct actually occurred.
In addition, affirmative defenses can be brought where you admit that the conduct occurred but challenge that there should be a conviction. Generally, the most common defenses available for an assault include:
An affirmative defense is available if you admit to committing the crime, but have a legal justification or an excuse for your conduct. For example, if another person attacks you and you assaulted this individual to defend yourself, then self-defense is an affirmative defense which is available to avoid conviction. Even self-defense of others can avoid conviction as in the case of your protecting a vulnerable member of society from harm, i.e. a young child, an infant, a frail or infirmed person or family member.
Lack of Intent
Under California law, to commit a crime of battery you must have acted “willfully” to injure another person. If you lack the required element of intent, then you are not guilty of the crimes of assault.
You cannot be convicted of an assault and battery when the other party knows that physical contact is likely to occur.  There are numerous examples such as many contact sports, but we can discuss this with you more fully upon your first free, confidential consultation.
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Assault and Battery Defense at Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC
Attorney Michael A. Fiumara and his experienced legal team of dedicated and savvy professionals provide the quality legal help to all those who have been charged with the crime of assault and battery or any variation of the two that the District Attorney can throw at you.
We understand that everyone deserves the best LEGAL defense possible, regardless of their situation, because being charged with a crime can have significant consequences.  A conviction on your permanent record could affect your ability to obtain decent employment, earn a degree, apply for a student loan, lose your housing voucher (kicked out of housing) or worse, lose your job.
It is always intimidating and frightening when you or a loved one has been charged with a crime.  But it is important to remember that help is available.
If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with an assault and battery charge, or any other criminal offense, please call us today at 707-571-8600 OR 415-492-4507 for a free and confidential  consultation.
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We are here to stand by your side, in your corner and do whatever it takes to protect your rights and help you obtain a favorable result for your case.  “WE FIGHT FOR YOU!”
Please see more information on our dedicated Assault and Battery webpage- Click Here

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