You are accused of assault and/or battery in Beverly Hills. Maybe you were not charged, but a loved one is facing these charges. According to California criminal penal code 240 and 242, you face heavy fines, county jail time and a permanent criminal record. Although these are misdemeanor charges, you must take them seriously. Securing the assistance of a criminal defense attorney with experience in fighting battery and assault cases in Beverly Hills will help you resolve this matter and move on with your life.
The Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin
At the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin, we are experienced in fighting assault and battery criminal cases. We know the California statutes and the courts in Southern California. For years, we have served the Southern California area by skillfully and aggressively defending our clients. We understand that these criminal charges often result from false allegations or misunderstandings, so we are prepared to fight aggressively to successfully resolve this matter.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation Regarding Your Battery and/or Assault Charge
Do not wait until you are charged with assault and/or battery to contact us. You need to contact us immediately. Whether you are accused of battery, assault or both, contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin for a free consultation at 310-273-9600.
An assault or battery charge is too serious to rely on an attorney who lacks the right legal training, skills and experience needed to successfully handle your matter. Jonathan Franklin is a former prosecutor with over 20 years of criminal defense experience. He has what is needed to handle your matter. He will meet with you or your loved one and discuss the details of your assault and/or battery charge. He will explain all potential defenses and defense strategies in confidence.
Assault Definition, Penalties and Defenses in Beverly Hills
Too much inaccurate, misleading and downright false information about California assault and battery is abound on the Internet. At the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin, we want you understand the truth about an assault and/or battery criminal charge in California. In fact, at the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin, we want you understand the truth about all aspects of an assault and battery charge, including the definition of assault and battery, penalties and defenses.
This is what you need to know about assault in California:
Assault is a misdemeanor offense defined according to the state's penal code 240. It is defined as the unlawful attempt to commit an act that would cause bodily injury to a victim. The attempt to cause harm must be done in a purposeful or willful way. If it was not done in a willful or purposeful way, you should have known the act would result in bodily harm.
Assault does not mean you hit someone. It means you tried to hit someone and did not make contact with them.
To be convicted of assault, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt you committed the crime of assault. The elements they must prove are:
- You attempted to commit a criminal act that would most likely cause a bodily injury to a victim
- Your criminal act was done on purpose, which is known as willful conduct
- You had the ability to complete the criminal act. This means you had the ability to make good on the threat
- You knew or should have known that your actions would cause bodily harm to the alleged victim
California law does not require you to successfully commit battery to be convicted of assault. You must be aware of your actions and know they were illegal or done on purpose.
Punishment for Assault Conviction in Beverly Hills
An assault conviction carries some tough penalties. These penalties include the possibility of:
- Six months in county jail
- $100 fine plus penalties assessments
- Possible probation
Those are the penalties for a simple assault. A simple assault is a crime without aggravating factors. Aggravating factors, on the other hand, can refer to the weapon used or special factors relating to the victim.
For instance, if you are accused of assault on a police officer or public servant during their job, it is a $2,000 fine and one year in county jail. The prosecutor must show you knew or should have known the alleged victim was a police officer or public servant.
If you are accused of assault while possessing a deadly weapon such as a bat, gun or knife that would cause great bodily harm, it can remain a misdemeanor, which has a penalty of up to one year in county jail. However, because of the weapon, the charge can increase to a felony, which is two to four years in prison, depending on the circumstances surrounding the allegations.
Another aggravated factor is described under PC 244. This is called assault with a caustic chemical. It is a felony. Caustic chemical crime refers to throwing a chemical on an alleged victim or trying to cause disfigurement or injury. It has a prison sentence of two to four years in state prison.
Disturbing the peace, defined under PC 415, can occur when there is public fighting, unreasonably loud noise or even a neighbor disturbance. You can also be charged with using fighting words to provoke an alleged victim. This is punishable by up to 90 days in county jail.
Your Beverly Hills Assault Defense Strategies
At the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin, we have a proven track record of successfully defending clients accused of criminal assault. Jonathan Franklin works hard to determine the best defense strategy to use based on the circumstances and facts surrounding an assault charge. Here are some common defense strategies used in assault cases:
- Self Defense: Self-defense is the act of protecting yourself or another person from an immediate threat of offensive touching or physical injury. The threat may not be actual. You must reasonably and genuinely believe the threat was real. You can only use the same amount of force the alleged victim used against you or it is not self-defense.
- No Ability to Assault: You may be charged with assault, which an attempt to commit a battery. However, you must have had the ability to carry out that threat. If you could not, you should not be convicted of assault.
- False Accusations: In Beverly Hills, it is not uncommon for an alleged victim to falsely accuse someone of assault just to get revenge. An experienced defense attorney will know how to investigate the facts and circumstances of the situation to resolve it without going to trial.
- No Willfulness: An assault must be done with the purpose of committing the crime. It cannot be a misunderstanding or accident the assault took place. If you did not act purposefully, you should not be convicted of assault.
Battery Definition, Penalties and Defenses in Beverly Hills
In California, battery is defined according to PC 242. An assault becomes battery when the force is carried out against the alleged victim. For instance, you threaten the victim with a bat. This is assault. You hit the victim with the bat. This is battery.
A prosecutor is bound by law to prove you committed battery beyond a reasonable doubt. This means the jury has no doubt you committed the crime. A prosecutor has three elements to prove that a battery occurred:
- You committed an act that actually caused or was likely to cause physical harm to the alleged victim
- You did the act willfully. This means you did the act on purpose.
- During the act, you made physical contact with the alleged victim
Any contact is considered touching. The State defines contact as physically hitting someone or using an object to hit them. It is also contact when someone hits an object in a victim's hand or on their person.
The term "willful" occurs when someone intends to break the law or harm another individual.
Penalties for Battery in Beverly Hills
The penalty you face depends on whether you are charged with a simple battery or battery with aggravating factors. A simple battery in California is a misdemeanor punishable by:
- six months in county jail
- Summary probation
- $2,000 fine
However, specific aggravating factors increase the battery penalties. For instance, one aggravating factor is battery against a member of a special protected class. This protected class of people include first responders, probation officers and security guards. Being part of a protected class means there are severe penalties if someone harms them while they are on duty. Battery of a peace officer is a wobbler in California. It can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony.
As a misdemeanor, you can face up to one year in county jail. The additional charge for harming a victim in a protected class is 16 months to three years in State prison.
Another factor is called aggravated battery. Aggravated battery is also called "battery causing serious bodily injury." It occurs when an injury inflicted on a victim causes a disability or a medical condition. If convicted, a person can face a misdemeanor charge of up to one year in county jail or a felony battery charge of up to four years in State prison. The degree of the injury will determine the amount of the punishment.
Domestic battery is another form of aggravated factor. Domestic battery occurs when you are accused of physically harming a family member such as a spouse, romantic partner or child. It will enhance a simple battery charge to something more serious because of the special relationship of the alleged victim. Former spouses and former partners are considered family members in the state's definition of domestic battery. It has a punishment of up to one year in county jail and a fine up to $2,000.
Touching another individual's intimate parts for the purpose of sexual gratification is called sexual battery. The touching can occur whether the alleged victim is fully clothed or not. Sexual battery is punishable up to a year in county jail. If the alleged victim was restrained, the charge will most likely become a felony. A felony has a state prison sentence of two to four years. Anyone convicted must register as a sex offender.
The final aggravating factor that increases a simple battery charge is elder abuse. Elder abuse, as defined under PC 368, occurs when an alleged victim (over 65 years old) is physically harmed. Elder abuse can be a misdemeanor or felony. A felony conviction can carry a prison sentence of two to four years. The fine is up to $6,000. It can up to a year in county jail, if charged as a misdemeanor.
Possible Defense Strategies for a Battery Charge in Beverly Hills
At the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin, we have extensive experience representing clients accused of battery. Jonathan Franklin is a former prosecutor who works hard to determine the most successful defense strategies he will use in an effort to get a case dropped or reduced. He will use your initial consultation to determine the best defense strategy and then diligently work to successfully resolve your case.
Here are some common battery defense strategies used to challenge the charges:
- Lack of Knowledge of a Peace Officer's Status: This defense is used when the alleged victim was a peace officer. It challenges the element that you knew the victim was an officer on duty at the time of the incident. If you were not aware of the person's status, you should not be found guilty of the charge.
- Self-Defense: If the alleged victim was actually the perpetrator, you have the right to defend yourself or another person. You can only use as much force as the alleged victim under this defense.
- Parental Rights: Parents and legal guardians, in some cases, can exercise their right to discipline their child. The discipline must be in a reasonable manner. This defense allows you to justify why your actions amounted to a reasonable disciplinary action and not any type of battery conduct.
- Accidents: You must have acted willfully to commit battery. This means you purposefully caused harm to an alleged victim. If you did not intend to injure the victim, you cannot be charged with the crime.
- Actual Innocence: You did not commit battery. Sometimes an alleged victim will claim they were hurt to get back at someone. If this is the case, an experienced attorney will find the facts to show you were a victim of a false accusation. Another part of this defense strategy is an alibi. An alibi is the defense that you could not have committed battery because you were not at the scene when the alleged crime happened.
Contact Us Immediately for Legal Assistance Regarding Your Assault and Battery Charge in Beverly Hills
At the Law offices of Jonathan Franklin, we have comprehensive legal knowledge of California assault and battery law. Jonathan Franklin is an experienced former criminal defense attorney who understands the law and knows how to negotiate with judges and prosecutors on his clients' behalf to eliminate or reduce the criminal charges.
If you or your loved one have been accused of the crime of assault and/or battery, contact us immediately. Do not assume you can handle the criminal charges without legal assistance. Do not assume it does matter who represents you. It is imperative you have a skilled criminal defense attorney to aggressively fight for your rights.
Jonathan Franklin a former prosecutor who challenges witness testimony and uses evidence to challenge the prosecutor's argument. He will work to achieve the best possible outcome in an assault and/or battery charge. Jonathan Franklin is with you every step of the way. He will explain your options as your work together to resolve the criminal charges.
Your future is at stake. Your future depends on a strong defense strategy. At the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin, we will provide you with a strong defense. From the moment our initial consultation begins, we start preparing a strong legal defense to preserve your freedom and protect your legal rights. We also work quickly and diligently to resolve your criminal charges so that you can move on with your life.
For a free initial consultation, contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin immediately at 310-273-9600. We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.