Assault and Battery
Aggressive Stanislaus County Criminal Defense Attorney Defending Clients Facing Violent Crimes
While California prosecutors take all crimes seriously, they take an especially aggressive approach when it comes to violent crimes like assault and battery. While the seriousness of these crimes can vary, any conviction for a violent criminal offense exposes you to the possibility of going to jail. This is especially the case if you have prior convictions or are alleged to have used a weapon, seriously injured someone, or committed an act of domestic violence. At the Law Office of Rebecka A. Monez, our Modesto criminal defense attorney aggressively stands up for the rights of clients facing all types of violent crimes, including aggravated assault, assault with a deadly weapon, firearm assault, and more.
What Is the Difference Between Assault and Battery in California?
While many people use the terms interchangeably, assault and battery are actually two different criminal offenses. Penal Code § 240 is the generic California assault statute, which defines an assault as “an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.” In other words, you do not need to actually hurt—or even come into contact with—another person to commit an assault. On the other hand, battery, as defined by Penal Code § 242, is the “willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.” Unlike assault, the crime of battery requires the government to prove you either made physical contact with another person or caused an object to come in contact with another person.
In general, an assault conviction carries a possible penalty of up to a six-month jail sentence and a fine of up to $1,000. A battery conviction carried a possible penalty of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. However, these punishments refer to “simple assault” and “simple battery.” If you face one of the many other felony assault or battery offenses, the stakes are much higher.
Common Assault and Battery Offenses
In addition to assault and battery, the California Penal Code contains many other related offenses, all of which expose a defendant to a much more severe sentence. Below are some of the most commonly charged assault and battery crimes in Stanislaus County:
Assault Against a Protected Person
California Penal Code §241 provides that an assault committed against a protected person is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to a year and a fine of up to $2,000. Protected people include law enforcement officers, correctional officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, traffic control officers, lifeguards, jurors, or school employees.
Assault With a Deadly Weapon
If you are charged with assaulting another person with another weapon that was not a firearm, you will face a possible sentence of up to four years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If you are charged with firearm assault, the maximum punishment range stays the same; however, you must serve at least six months in jail. If you allegedly used a semi-automatic firearm, the maximum punishment increases to up to nine years in state prison.
Domestic battery involves a battery that is committed against a spouse, a live-in partner, a co-parent, former spouse, fiancé, or fiancée, or anyone with whom you have a dating or intimate relationship. Domestic battery is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
Importantly, none of the above-mentioned punishments take into account the possibility of sentencing enhancements. California law permits prosecutors to pursue extremely harsh sentencing enhancements if a crime is committed with a deadly weapon or for the benefit of a gang. These enhancements can add years—or even decades—to your sentence. Thus, it is critically important for anyone facing assault and battery with a sentencing enhancement to immediately consult with a Modesto criminal defense attorney.
Have You Been Charged With a Violent Crime in Stanislaus County?
If you were recently arrested and charged with a violent crime, reach out to the Law Office of Rebecka A. Monez for immediate assistance. Attorney Monez is an experienced Stanislaus County criminal defense attorney who is uniquely dedicated to each of her clients’ cases. Understanding that these serious cases take an immense amount of attention, Attorney Monez limits her caseload to ensure that she can provide every person she helps with the attention and dedication they deserve. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call 209-488-4959. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.