Los Angeles Aggravated Assault Defense Attorneys
Facing charges of aggravated assault in California can be a stressful and traumatic experience. Not only do you face high fines and jail time, but your reputation and career are also at risk. Fighting to prove your innocence can be a challenging experience, but an experienced and knowledgeable Los Angeles violent crime defense lawyer by your side can tip the odds in your favor and get the charges dropped, reduced, or get you acquitted at trial.
Per California law, assault is defined as an unlawful attempt to touch or injure another person. Where the assault is performed with the intent to commit serious bodily harm, done with a deadly weapon, or done with disregard for the life of the victim, it can be considered aggravated assault. Most forms of aggravated assault can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances.
The crime of assault does not require that the victim was injured – only that the defendant attempted to cause the injury. If the victim suffers bodily harm or death, the defendant can be charged with battery, murder, or other charges in addition to assault charges. The different types of aggravated assault are covered under California Penal Codes PC 244 and PC 245 and include:
- Assault with a deadly weapon (PC 245a1);
- Assault with a firearm (PC 245a2);
- Assault by means likely to create severe bodily injury or death (PC 245a4); and
- Assault with caustic chemicals (PC 244).
For example, if you attempted to push someone off a cliff, even if they survive and remain uninjured, you could be charged with aggravated assault. If the victim fell and sustained severe injuries or death, you could then also be charged with murder, battery, and other crimes along with aggravated assault charges.
While aggravated assault involves an element of severe risk to the victim, simple assault is a misdemeanor that consists of an unlawful attempt to injure another, even if the potential for injury is minor. For example, attempting to punch another – even if they dodge and you miss – could result in a charge of simple assault.
The penalties for assault charges vary based on the methods used, and potential danger created, and some examples include:
- Simple assault: A fine of up to $1,000, up to six months in county jail, or both the fine and jail time
- Misdemeanor aggravated assault: Up to one year in prison
- Felony aggravated assault: Up to four years in prison
- Assault with caustic chemicals: Up to four years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both the fine and jail time
A further and not-so-obvious penalty associated with assault charges is a black mark on your criminal record. Assault is a violent crime, and such crimes are frowned upon by employers, and it can create significant challenges for you when trying to get a job or advance your career.
Aggravated assault is considered a violent crime, and a conviction may harm your immigration status and result in deportation or classification as inadmissible to the country. If you aren’t a US citizen, it’s therefore even more crucial that you defend yourself against these charges and get them dropped or mitigated.
Thankfully, several legal defenses exist that may be effective at getting your charges dropped, reduced, or result in an acquittal at trial:
- You didn’t have the ability to injure the other person;
- Self-defense or the defense of others;
- There was no intention of creating harm; or
- That the charge is false, and the crime wasn’t committed.
Remember, it’s the prosecution’s responsibility to prove to a jury that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. With the right legal team by your side, you may have a good chance of successfully dealing with wrongful assault charges.
Defending against assault charges is a fight for your life. A conviction can devastate your reputation, your career, and your life. At Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, our legal team understands the potential consequences, so we bring some of the best criminal defense attorneys in Los Angeles to fight aggressively on your behalf. We have decades of experience in and out of the courtroom, successfully defending victims of wrongful criminal charges. Our win-loss record demonstrates our skill and expertise in the field, and we are dedicated to protecting against injustice.
We offer a no-cost initial consultation, so call us today at (213) 688-0460 to get started.
Recent Case Results
- Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Decision Set Aside
Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
- Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.