If you or someone in your family has been charged with assault, you need legal protection. In Los Angeles, assault can range from a misdemeanor crime to a serious felony, but even the least severe assault charge carries the possibility of jail time. An assault conviction can also make it much easier for the other person involved in the confrontation to bring a lawsuit against you for their injuries. You need to speak to a Los Angeles assault lawyer.
At the Simmrin Law Group, we have only one goal: defending you or your loved one so you can move on with your life. We have seen firsthand the way that even a single assault conviction can disrupt someone’s life, family and career. We believe in standing by the accused and helping you get the most powerful defense possible. Remember, it is possible to beat an assault charge or get it downgraded to a much less serious offense—even in the most serious cases.
Let us give you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call us at 310-997-4688 and get your free consultation immediately.
What counts as “assault” in Los Angeles?
California recognizes several different assault charges. The specific offense you will be charged with depends on several factors:
- Did you simply push, shove or hit someone? If so, you are likely to be charged with a misdemeanor known as “simple assault.”
- Did you use a gun? Using a gun is a separate offense, assault with a firearm, and it can be a misdemeanor or a felony. If the gun was a semiautomatic weapon or assault weapon it will be a felony.
- Did you some other kind of weapon? California recognizes many other weapons as being just as serious as a firearm. This includes knives, broken glass, a heavy bottle, the butt of a pistol, or driving your car into someone (or their vehicle).
- How seriously was the person hurt? Regardless of whether you used a weapon, if your actions were likely to produce “great bodily injury,” it will be charged as a felony. This could include pushing someone off of a height, punching them repeatedly in the head, breaking an arm, or a trained martial artist attacking someone else.
What if I didn’t mean to hurt the person?
We see this happen a lot. Often, police and the prosecutor are quick to push for an “assault” charge even though you didn’t intend to hurt someone at all. Legally speaking, if you did not intend to hurt the person, or you could not have guessed that your actions would lead to an injury, you cannot be convicted of assault. This is made very clear by California’s definition of assault:
- Assault is the willful application of force…
- …that you knew would likely result…
- …in a bodily injury to someone else.
In other words, if you didn’t touch the person on purpose, you cannot be convicted. And even if you touched them on purpose, if you didn’t know it would likely result in an injury, you cannot be convicted.
A common example of this would be a client who shoved someone else. Normally, shoving someone does not cause any injury. Even if the person tripped and fell, injuring their head, you had no way of knowing that would happen. In these cases, we could get your charge reduced (with much lower consequences) or even win your case altogether.
What if I really did attack the person?
It’s important to consider the circumstances of what happened. People can do things they regret in a heated moment. Technically, it is illegal to assault another person, but the punishment is often far too severe for the crime. Our job as your criminal defense lawyer is to help you walk away with the least consequences possible and an outcome you can live with.
There are three important things you should do to protect yourself:
- Stay silent. Do not admit anything and do not answers the police’s questions. If they try to question you, say you want to speak to a lawyer. If they pressure you or offer to help you, do not believe them. Say nothing.
- There is hope. We routinely see cases that the prosecution wanted to treat as open-and-shut assault charges, that end up going nowhere. It’s hard for the prosecution to prove an assault charge when you have a good lawyer. It’s very common to get the charge reduced or even dropped.
- Don’t face your charge alone. You simply are not equipped to fight this case without a legal professional by your side. Speak to a lawyer immediately.
What are the penalties for assault in Los Angeles?
The penalties depend on the specific offense you are charged with:
- Misdemeanor assault: Up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine
- Assault with a deadly weapon: Up to 1 year in jail and $1,000 (misdemeanor) or 2-4 years in state prison and up to $10,000 (felony)
- Assault with a firearm: Up to 6 months in jail and $1,000 (misdemeanor) or 2-4 years in state prison and up to $10,000 (felony)
- Assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury: Up to 1 year in jail and $1,000 (misdemeanor) or 2-4 years in state prison and up to $10,000 (felony)
Additional penalties are added if you allegedly assaulted a police officer or under other special circumstances.
But remember: you only face these penalties if you are convicted. Talk to a good criminal defense lawyer and ask them to fight your case for you. The sooner you get a lawyer, the better.
Talk to a Los Angeles Assault Attorney for Free
You cannot afford to gamble with months in jail or years in prison. Get the help you need. At the Simmrin Law Group, we know what you are going through and we treat every case as if it’s our own family member facing the assault charge.
Let us give you a free consultation and advise you on your case. It’s up to you whether you decide to work with us or not. Fill out the form to the right or call us at 310-997-4688 and get your free consultation today.