Under California criminal law, a basic assault consists of a threat or attempt to harm another person, with no actual contact or physical harm resulting. Based on this definition, the classic common law crime of assault may seem like it should not be a serious offense.
However, assault is considered a violent crime by law enforcement officials in Oakland, and the potential penalties include significant jail time, a heavy fine, and requirements to make restitution to the victim.
If you are facing assault charges, it may be a good idea to talk to an Oakland assault lawyer who could explain the implications of your charge and build a defensive strategy to pursue a strong resolution of your case. To get started or learn more about how our Oakland assault and battery lawyer can help you, call and schedule a consultation today.
While the term “assault” is used in other jurisdictions to refer to a wide range of violent offenses, the crime is more narrowly defined in California. Specifically, California Penal Code §240 describes assault as “an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.”
Generally, for someone to be convicted of assault, they must:
As an experienced assault lawyer in Oakland could explain, an “application of force” could be interpreted to include any type of harmful or offensive touch. For example, spitting on someone—while not likely to cause physical harm—is considered offensive, so attempting to spit on someone may constitute an assault.
The difference between assault and battery is the attempt—or sometimes even a threat—to cause bodily injury, if made in such a way that it puts the other person in fear of imminent harm. If actual contact is made, then the act becomes a battery.
Battery is defined in Cal. Pen. Code §242 as “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.” In other words, an attempt to use force constitutes an assault crime, while any actual use of force—which may be offensive rather than actively harmful—is considered a battery.
A simple assault in Oakland is punishable by up to six months in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. However, the penalties may increase if the assault is carried out against someone in a particular type of role, making it important that an Oakland assault attorney is consulted as soon as possible.
For instance, under Cal. Pen. Code §241(b), if someone is accused of assaulting a parking control officer, the potential fine doubles to $2,000. If the assault is carried out against a first responder or other personnel listed in this statute, both the fine and potential term of imprisonment double. The maximum penalties for assault crimes also increase for assaults occurring in parks, on school property, or on public transportation property.
The penalties for simple battery are similar, with a maximum fine of $2,000 and a potential jail term of six months unless the battery is carried out against a particular listed person or in a particular protected location. For example, a battery committed against an elderly person may be punished by up to one year in jail, according to Cal. Pen. Code §243.25. An Oakland assault attorney could further explain the penalties you are facing.
Assault and battery both become much more serious crimes when a deadly weapon is involved. Cal. Pen. Code §245 states that those convicted of assault with a deadly weapon may face up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The severity of the offense increases if the weapon used is a firearm, particularly an assault rifle, machine gun, or similar weapon.
Assault and battery charges require an individual to take deliberate action to be found guilty, so it may be possible to find evidence indicating a lack of intent or argue insufficient evidence to prove the necessary state of mind. Fortunately, an experienced Oakland assault and battery lawyer could know the right defensive strategies to apply based on the circumstances involved.
To start pursuing the best potential outcome in your case, call now to start with a free consultation.
The Nieves Law Firm is dedicated to providing aggressive criminal defense representation to working professionals who have found themselves in trouble with the law. We show up to win, and we’re not afraid to fight aggressively to accomplish our client’s goals.
We understand that being accused of a crime can be a scary and confusing experience. That’s why we take the stress off our clients by handling the full scope of their legal situation from the initial consultation to the final outcome. Our bilingual attorneys and staff are here to ensure that our clients feel heard and understood every step of the way.
As one of the largest criminal defense teams in Oakland and the Greater Bay Area, we have the resources and experience to handle even the most complex cases. Our experienced team examines various aspects of your case and, perhaps most importantly, we genuinely care about our clients and their future. We take the time to learn about their goals and priorities so that we can achieve an outcome that allows them to move past their mistakes and focus on the future they want. When you work with us, you become part of our team.
Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have experience handling a wide range of criminal cases. With a deep understanding of the legal system and a track record of successful cases, our lawyers are committed to achieving the best possible outcome in your case.
When facing a criminal charge, having dedicated and experienced attorneys on your side is critical. At The Nieves Law Firm, we understand the gravity of your situation, and our criminal defense attorneys provide unwavering support and legal guidance.
From the moment you reach out to us, we prioritize your well-being and legal interests. Our criminal lawyers are with you every step of the way, from arrest to hearings and beyond, to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you’re facing charges related to DUI, drug offenses, assault, sex crimes or any other allegation, we have the knowledge and courtroom experience to fight vigorously on your behalf.
We believe in the power of collaboration and will actively involve you in the decision-making process, ensuring you are well-informed and empowered to make the best choices for your defense. Our goal is not only to navigate the legal complexities but also to provide you with the peace of mind and reassurance you deserve during this challenging time.
Give us a call or contact us online so we can schedule a meeting to discuss your legal needs.
Schedule a meeting with our intake coordinator so we can determine the best plan to solve your legal problems.
We work to resolve your legal problems so you can focus on what is most important
Case Dismissed after Completion of Drug Court
All Charges Dismissed and Property Ordered to be Returned to Client
Deferred Entry of Judgment
Case Dismissed without Trial
Motion to Vacate Granted
Restraining Order Denied and Sealed
Both Cases Dismissed Prior to Trial
No Charges Filed
No Criminal Charges Filed & Detention
No Jail Time & No Sex Offender Registration
Pled to 1 Petty Misdemeanor and Not Required to Register as Sex Offender
The Nieves Law firm was a great choice in helping me through my restraining order case, the whole team there does a great job at walking you through the steps of the legal process. Jose is a great lawyer and is good at what he does, in court he really shines and is able to debate the case very well and professionally. I would definitely pick them again if I had to!
Thank you to my attorney Grace for all your help with my case. It took awhile but the outcome has made me so happy that I am able to move forward with my life and forget the past. Everyone at this law firm from the beginning to the end have been so helpful and supportive. I highly recommend The Nieves Law Firm!
The Nieves Law Firm is absolutely amazing. The best customer services experience I have had, great communication, astonishing experience, and overall a team of professionals that dedicate themselves to ensuring the best result. I am really happy to have worked with this team. Jimarielle was very helpful and provided me the comfort and understanding in every way possible. Highly recommend.
Thank you to the whole Nieves legal team, especially to my attorney, Mari Bowie, for being so supportive, helpful, and professional to me and my family in these hard times in my life. I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a law firm that actually looks at you as a human-being first and cares about your well-being. I appreciate all the support they’ve given and will go to them again if I ever need to down the road.
The Nieves Law Firm has an outstanding team of attorneys who are supportive and provide exceptional Client service. The founding attorney Jo-Anna, firmly stands on her mission and is backed by a team with expertise. You can trust you’ll be in good hands and that their team will give their absolute best to help you. If you’re looking for a criminal defense attorney look no further they are knowledgeable and honestly the best to work with!