Have you been charged with assault? Assault is an intentional act likely to result in injury to another person. At the time the assault occurs, the defendant must have the ability to inflict injury upon the other person.
The intent involved in assault does not mean an intent to actually injure the other person. It is the intent to take an action likely to injure another. An accidental act, or an act that cannot be reasonably interpreted as likely to injure another, does not amount to assault.
Assault and battery are often confused by the public. The two crimes are related but are separate crimes.
A battery is the intentional use of force against another - the defendant must actually touch or injure the victim.
Assault does not require any touching or physical harm to the victim.
Sometimes assault is described as an "attempted battery" and battery is described as a "completed assault." Where a battery has occurred, an assault is also involved. Because of this typically a defendant charged with battery cannot also be charged with assault, but this can occur when there is a difference in the degree of the assault and the battery.
There are two types of assault in California, simple assault and aggravated assault.
A simple assault is typically charged when the victim does not suffer significant injury. It is a misdemeanor.
An aggravated assault involves additional circumstances that indicate a more serious crime. The most common aggravated assault is assault with a deadly weapon, such as a knife or a firearm. Other aggravating circumstances include assault against police officers and firefighters, or when serious injury results to the victim.
Defenses to assault include self-defense and lack of intent. Sometimes defendants are falsely charged with assault by someone they know.
Serious collateral consequences can occur as a result of an assault conviction. For example, if a vehicle was operated in an aggravated assault charge and is the "instrumentality" used in the assault, a conviction can result in a permanent revocation of your driver's license (Vehicle Code 13351.5).
An experienced Orange County assault defense attorney can help potentially reduce an aggravated assault to a simple assault, or to possibly get the charge dismissed. At the Law Offices of Vincent J. LaBarbera, Jr. we have extensive experience representing individuals charged with assault and related crimes. We will represent you aggressively and advise you of all of your options. For a confidential evaluation of your case, call us today at (949) 662-1791.