Los Angeles Assault Attorney

California Penal Code § 240

Under California law, a person commits assault when he /she threatens to harm someone else. According to the law, you do not need to hurt someone to face an assault conviction.

Assault charges include:

  • Simple assault (no physical contact needs to be made)
  • Aggravated assault
  • Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Sexual assault

In fact, the police can arrest you for assault even if you did not touch the alleged victim. This makes it very easy for law enforcement to make false assault accusations.

Facing assault crime charges in Los Angeles? Contact us today for a free consultation.

Definition of "Assault"

Assault is not always a violent crime. Prosecutors only need to demonstrate that you committed an act that would probably lead to a physical attack.

The fundamental characteristics of assault are:

  • The defendant attempted to commit a forceful act
  • The defendant had the ability to commit the alleged forceful act

An example of an assault is if you were in a heated argument with someone and threw an object in their direction. This may be considered an assault.

Aggravated Assault Penalties

An assault may be charged as aggravated assault if there are serious circumstances involved, such as if a deadly weapon, if the victim was part of a protected class, or of the assault contained a harmful chemical. These actions will entail elevated charges and harsher penalties.

Some of the penalties for aggravated assault can include:

  • One Year in Jail
  • Fine ($10,000)
  • Victim Restitution
  • Community Service
  • Anger Management Classes
  • Informal Probation

Is Assault a Misdemeanor or a Felony?

Simple assault is a misdemeanor; aggravated assault can be a felony. Aggravated assault (Assault with a Deadly Weapon) is a "wobbler." It can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime. These factors include the type of weapon, the victim's injuries (if any), and if the victim was a "protected individual." Officers, firefighters, etc. are protected.

Aggravated assault must involve a weapon, but the legal definition of "weapon" is very broad. Any potentially dangerous object – such as a broken bottle, a car, or a sharp pencil – is a deadly weapon if someone threatens to harm another person with it.

If you've been charged with assault, contact an assault defense lawyer in Los Angeles at our firm for immediate representation.

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