Assault and Violent Crimes
If you have been charged with assault, a domestic violence crime, or other violent crimes in Ventura County or Santa Barbara County, your future is in jeopardy. Being arrested can be a very frightening time to deal with, as questions regarding your future and the possibility of prison time begin to take hold. Ensuring that you are represented by an experienced Ventura assault attorney who can craft a robust defense strategy is critical to protecting your rights and your future. At The Law Offices of Bamieh & Erickson, PLC, our California defense lawyers have the knowledge and experience to help defend you against these serious accusations.
Our Ventura criminal attorneys are not afraid to take your case to trial, and are prepared to dedicate the necessary time to build a hard-hitting defense. With inclusion on the 2013 Super Lawyers® list, a 2011 Defense Attorney of the Year award, and a Superb Avvo rating, we have established our law firm as a force to be reckoned with, and are committed to providing the defense that our clients need. Call our law offices immediately at (805) 585-5056 for a free and confidential legal consultation regarding your case.
Do I Need a Lawyer for an Assault Charge?
If you have been arrested and charged with assault in Ventura County, or if one of your family members was arrested for assault, you have probably wondered whether you or your loved one needs to be represented by a defense lawyer. It is absolutely critical to be represented by an attorney if you or a family member has been accused of assault, aggravated assault, battery, or any other crime against another person, regardless of whether the charge is a misdemeanor, a felony, or a “wobbler,” meaning a crime that can be prosecuted as a felony or misdemeanor. If the assault is a wobbler, a skilled attorney may be able to persuade the prosecutor to charge the defendant with a misdemeanor, which has less severe penalties than felony assault.
The criminal penalties for assault in California are explained in the section below. However, before explaining the consequences of an assault conviction, it is vital to emphasize the importance of skilled legal representation. You will be standing against an aggressive prosecutor who is familiar with the law and has years of experience obtaining convictions in cases similar to yours. If you attempt to represent yourself, or if you are represented by an overworked and inexperienced public defender, your likelihood of being acquitted, receiving lighter penalties, or having your case dismissed is significantly diminished.
At The Law Offices of Bamieh & Erickson, PLC, our Ventura assault attorneys bring detailed knowledge of California assault laws to every case we handle. Even if the situation seems hopeless or overwhelming to you right now, we will stand by your side and investigate every angle of your case to give you the vigorous defense you are entitled to.
CA Assault Penalties: Jail Sentence and Fines
Assault is charged under Cal. Penal Code § 240. This statute supplies the legal definition of assault in California. Under Cal. Penal Code § 240, “An assault is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.” The prosecutor must prove each individual component of this definition, beyond a reasonable doubt, or the defendant cannot be convicted of assault under Cal. Penal Code § 240. Possible defenses against an assault accusation include acting in self-defense, lack of intent, and being mistaken for another person, which frequently occurs in crowded settings or settings with dim lighting.
The penalties for assault can be severe if the defendant is convicted. Assault is generally a misdemeanor crime which can result in a sentence of up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. However, assault charges become more serious if the alleged victim is a police officer, firefighter, EMT, or works in a similar occupation.
What is Considered a Violent Crime?
A “violent crime” consists of any criminal action that involves the act of harming of another person through the use of physical force. These actions are particularly troubling as they can lead judges and juries to believe that the accused is prone to reckless behavior and a danger to society.
Violent crimes typically face harsh penalties and are usually charged as felonies. Common violent crimes in California include:
- Domestic Violence
- Vehicular Manslaughter
Penalties for such crimes can involve a sentence of many years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines, among other consequences of having a violent felony criminal record. Additionally, California’s “Three Strikes” sentencing law creates extended prison sentences for defendants convicted of prior felonies.
Contact Our Ventura Assault Defense Attorneys for Legal Help
Wherever possible, it is our goal to seek to have your charges dropped. To do so, we are committed to providing you with the toughest defense that we can possibly give. At The Law Offices of Bamieh & Erickson, PLC, our 22 years of experience and commitment to our clients solidify our familiarity with both the state and federal criminal justice system, giving you the necessary confidence and strong legal defense to help you in your time of need.
The first step towards trusted legal help is a free legal consultation with our criminal lawyers in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. We serve Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, Moorpark, Camarillo, Santa Maria, Goleta, Lompoc, and beyond. Call our law offices right away at (805) 585-5056 to start discussing your charges confidentially and free of cost.