You can face severe charges if convicted of a violent crime in the Santa Monica area. California considers acts of domestic violence, assault, battery, and murder to be violent crimes. Some of these acts are misdemeanors and others are felonies. In both cases, you could be sentenced to years of imprisonment if you are found guilty.
The Simmrin Law Group’s knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers can help you deal with any charges you’re facing in Santa Monica. Get help from experienced lawyers who understand the ins and outs of California’s legal system to improve your chances in the courtroom.
Our Lawyers Can Help Defend You from Violent Crimes Charges
A charge for a violent crime in Santa Monica should not be taken lightly. You could end up facing serious fines along with time in prison or jail if your defense is not strong enough. Any of these acts can be seen as a violent crime:
- Domestic Violence
The court system will treat some of these acts as misdemeanors, which are not judged as harshly as felonies. However, even a light sentence can still impact your life for years to come in ways that you do not expect.
Work with a violent crimes lawyer with a history of courtroom success to start building your defense right away.
Domestic Violence Laws in Santa Monica
California uses the term domestic violence to describe several acts, including:
- Property damage
These actions are considered to be domestic violence if they are carried out against someone you are currently in a relationship with. A domestic violence charge can also apply if these acts were directed against someone who used to share an intimate relationship with you.
Domestic battery is a specific domestic violence charge that involves touching someone in a way that is offensive or harmful. You can face a domestic battery charge even if you don’t actually hurt anyone. The attempt to cause injury is enough to bring your case to court.
A conviction for domestic battery can lead to $2,000 in fines and up to a year in jail. Any domestic violence conviction could also impact your ability to get child custody in the event of a divorce.
Charges of Assault in California
Santa Monica defines the act of assault as willfully using force that you knew would probably cause someone else bodily injury. Assault occurs even if you only attempt to use force on someone else. There are a few different charges that fall under the umbrella of assault in California, including:
Simple assault is seen as a misdemeanor in Santa Monica. You could face this charge for pushing, hitting, or shoving another person. A conviction can result in $1,000 in fines and up to 6 months of jail time.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon
You can face an assault with a deadly weapon charge if you act against another person using a weapon that isn’t a firearm. Assault with a deadly weapon can lead to up to 4 years in prison.
Assault with a Firearm
An assault with a firearm charge can involve pointing a gun at another person, hitting someone with a gun, or firing a gun at an individual. You may spend up to 4 years in prison if you are convicted of assault with a firearm.
Battery as a Violent Crime
Battery refers to the act of using violence or force on another person without lawful reason. This violence has to be intentional and it does not necessarily have to result in injury for a battery charge to apply. Battery is commonly charged in two ways in Santa Monica:
- Misdemeanor. You can face misdemeanor charges for simple battery if no one is seriously injured by your actions. This can still lead to fines of $2,000 and up to 6 months of time spent in county jail.
- Felony. An attack that leads to serious injuries will face more severe charges. You can also face felony charges for battery if the act was directed against an officer of the law. A felony charge comes with higher penalties and a longer period of incarceration if you are convicted.
Murder Charges in Santa Monica
California penalizes murder more harshly than any other violent crime. You can be convicted of this act if you cause the death of someone with “malice aforethought” and without legal justification. “Malice aforethought” simply means that you acted with the intent to kill someone or, at least, that you knew your actions could result in a death.
There are two different charges used to handle murder in the court system in Santa Monica:
First Degree Murder
First degree murder is an incredibly serious charge that can lead to life without parole in state prison or even the death penalty. First degree murder occurs if someone plans a murder and then carries it out.
Second Degree Murder
A charge of second degree murder is less severe than first degree murder, but it can still end up with you spending at least 15 years in prison. California uses the charge of second degree murder to handle cases where the murder is not premeditated.
Get Help Fighting Violent Crimes Charges
Violent crimes charges carry some of the harshest penalties in Santa Monica. Improve your chances for courtroom success by contacting the legal professionals at the Simmrin Law Group today. We have years of experience in the courtroom and can help you build your case. You can get started today with a FREE consultation about your options.
Find out how we can help by filling out our website’s contact form or calling us at (310) 997-4688.