Under the California Penal Code, assault is defined as “an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.”
The key word in the definition is “attempt.” A person does not have to make physical contact with another to be charged with assault. If a person is trying to physically hurt someone else, and they take some action to accomplish that goal, they may be liable for assault, even if no physical contact is made.
In addition, if the person does make contact with another, they may be liable for assault even if the other person is not physically injured. The slightest touching can be enough if it is done in a rude or angry way. Making contact with another person, including through his or her clothing, is enough. The touching does not have to cause pain or injury of any kind.
If a person is charged with simple assault, it is punishable by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by both the fine and imprisonment. However, the penalties increase depending on whom a person is charged with assaulting. For example, if a person is charged with assaulting a police officer, the maximum jail time and fines are increased to two thousand dollars ($2,000) and one year in county jail, respectively.
Some assault crimes, such as assault with a deadly weapon, are considered “wobblers.” This means that the crime can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.
Every case is different and requires the skill and expertise of an experienced criminal defense attorney to navigate and defend. Depending on the circumstances, a person charged with assault may have a defense that will negate the charges.
If you’ve been charged with assault, call the Champion Law Firm today to speak to an experienced attorney. Consultations are always free.
If you’re looking for a Los Angeles Assault Attorney, contact us today.