Martinez Assault Lawyer
Under state law, assault and battery are two distinct criminal offenses with separate punishments. Assault largely is a violent crime that can result in severe penalties under state law. If you have been accused of inflicting, or threatening to inflict, harm on another, contacting a Martinez assault lawyer could be a valuable part of your defense.
Depending on the nature of an assault, you could face misdemeanor or felony charges. A crime of violence on your record can be damaging to your reputation and ability to find employment. A knowledgeable criminal attorney could explain the full implications of an assault conviction and assist you in building a strong defense.
Understanding an Assault Charge
Although some state laws refer to assault and battery as the same crime, assault is distinguishable from battery under California law. Assault can include actions that may result in a battery or that are an attempt to commit a battery, but physical contact and injury typically do not occur.
California Penal Code § 240 states that assault occurs when individuals take unlawful actions designed to cause violent injuries to others, and when he or she has the apparent ability to carry out the actions. Assault does not typically result in physical harm to others. Instead, it usually involves threats to cause violent injury to others.
Potential Penalties for Violent Acts
Under Cal. Pen. Code § 241, the first conviction for assault can result in a six-month jail sentence, a maximum fine of $1,000, or both. Individuals may also face orders to complete community service or an educational course at the discretion of a judge. In some cases, however, even a first-time assault conviction can result in harsh penalties.
If someone is accused of assaulting someone engaging in certain occupations, the penalties can escalate. These occupations include:
- First responders, such as emergency medical technicians and paramedics
- Law enforcement officers
- Nurses and doctors engaged in providing emergency care
Other occupations that can result in more severe penalties if they are subject to an assault include lifeguards, process servers, traffic officers, and search and rescue team members. When these types of individuals are involved in an assault, the accused persons can face up to one year of incarceration and a fine of up to $2,000. An assault lawyer in Martinez could work to minimize these potential consequences.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon
A more severe assault offense occurs if individuals commit assault with a deadly weapon. Under Cal. Pen. Code § 245(a)(1), assault with a deadly weapon may be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. These charges can result in a prison sentence ranging from one to 12 years depending on the type of weapon used.
For example, if individuals commit an assault using a deadly weapon other than a firearm, they may face a prison term of one to four years, in addition to a $10,000 fine. However, if individuals use a machine gun or an assault weapon to commit an assault, they could face four, eight, or 12 years in prison under Penal Code section 245(a)(3) and up to 9 years in prison for an assault with a semiautomatic firearm. Enlisting the help of an experienced attorney in Martinez may the most effective means of fighting back against assault charges.
Call a Martinez Assault Attorney for Advice
An assault conviction can have various unwanted repercussions for your personal and professional life. Fortunately, defenses and other mitigating factors may be available to you.
However, without the help of a Martinez assault lawyer, you may be unable to raise these issues successfully. By relying on your legal advocate, you may have a better chance of a positive result in your case. Call now to learn more.