If you want to learn more about Penal Code 220, you’ve come to the right place. You may learn more about assault with felony intent charges in California below, including the results of a conviction and possible defenses against an accusation.
An assault with intent to commit a felony charge is very serious. Convictions often result in fines and incarceration. A criminal defense attorney from the Simmrin Law Group is available for your legal questions. We provide straightforward answers about criminal charges in California.
Learn More About Assault Charges in California
Assault is a criminal act on its own in California. Assault charges apply if someone attempts to use force against another person. Any harmful or offensive contact may constitute an act of assault. Individuals do not have to cause harm or pain to face assault charges.
Basic assault charges are prosecuted under Penal Code 240. This basic form of assault is considered a misdemeanor in California. Assault with intent to commit a felony is not a misdemeanor. PC 220 is a more serious charge treated as a felony.
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Facts About Assault With Intent to Commit a Felony
Individuals face PC 220 charges if they commit assault and plan to carry out another felony. In most cases, the subsequent felony is a sex crime. However, there are instances in which other felonies are involved. The court often uses PC 220 charges when individuals commit assault in conjunction with an attempt to commit:
- Rape (including statutory, spousal, and rape in concert with another person)
- Oral copulation by force or rear
- Lewd acts with a child under 14
- Forcible sexual penetration with a foreign object
As you can see, these are all felonies related to sex crimes. However, individuals may also face PC 220 charges if they assault someone with the intent to commit mayhem. Penal Code 203 defines “mayhem.” According to PC 203, individuals commit mayhem if they:
- Remove someone’s body part
- Disable or disfigure a body part
- Render a body part useless
- Disable or cut a tongue
- Remove someone’s eye
- Slit someone’s lip, nose, or ear
Mayhem does not necessarily involve sexual violence. However, it may still lead to PC 220 accusations in California. Find out more about the specifics of a mayhem charge with a criminal defense lawyer.
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Results of a Conviction for Assault With Intent to Commit a Felony
Assault with intent to commit a felony may lead to serious penalties in California. These penalties may apply even if an individual did not successfully carry out the felony. Merely attempting to commit these sex crimes or mayhem while committing assault may lead to a conviction.
Convictions under PC 220 may result in up to six years in prison. The court may increase the penalty to nine years of prison time in some cases. Generally, individuals face more prison time if they are accused of attempting to commit a sex crime against someone under 18.
You should know that PC 220 is considered a felony in California. This means that individuals convicted are considered felons. A felony conviction may impact their ability to buy a house or find a job, even after they are released from prison.
Penal Code 220 Constitutes a Strike Under California’s Three Strikes Law
If you get convicted of a PC 220 offense, you will get a strike on your record under California’s Three Strikes Sentencing Law. If this is the first strike you have received, your case will be sentenced as normal.
However, if this is your second strike, you could face a prison sentence of up to double the maximum sentence usually allowed for this crime.
If this is your third strike, you could face a sentence of 25 years to life.
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Focus on Defenses for PC 220 Accusations
There are legal defenses that may work for individuals accused of a PC 220 violation. A criminal defense lawyer may consider your unique situation if you face this charge. In some cases, a lawyer could work to show that:
- You did not commit assault
- You were falsely accused
- You acted in self-defense
You Did Not Commit Assault
As mentioned, California has a specific legal definition for assault. You may avoid a conviction if you did not touch someone in an offensive or harmful way. A lawyer may work to show that no acts constituting assault occurred.
Your Were Falsely Accused
False accusations happen for a variety of reasons. An assault victim may have wrongfully accused you of assault because you look similar to the actual perpetrator. Similarly, the victim may have seen you around the time that the assault took place and gotten confused.
Other times false accusations are intentional. An alleged victim may have accused you because they wanted to cause you harm. These types of false accusations are most often made because of jealousy or in an attempt to get revenge.
You Acted in Self-Defense
You are allowed to take steps to protect yourself in California. You may use force if someone is trying to hurt you. This could help you avoid assault charges. However, carrying out a sex crime is not an action taken in self-defense in California.
Depending on the strength of the prosecution’s case and other factors, you may choose to plead guilty to a lesser charge rather than taking your chances at trial. Attempting to negotiate a plea bargain on your own can be very challenging. While a deal might sound good on the surface, you could discover that it is not to your benefit underneath.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you fight for a fair plea agreement. You may be able to plead guilty to a lesser charge or simply reach an agreement where you will serve a reduced sentence.
Plea deals for Penal Code 220 charges often result in defendants pleading guilty to a charge of simple assault under Penal Code 240.
Work With a Lawyer to Handle PC 220 Charges in California
Make sure you take Penal Code 220: Assault With Intent to Commit a Felony charges seriously. A criminal defense lawyer may help you with your defense. Find out about legal options to handle a PC 220 charge from the Simmrin Law Group.
We provide free consultations to individuals accused of a PC 220 violation. Learn more by giving us a call or completing our online contact form.