Assault and battery are regarded as violent crimes in San Luis Obispo, California, and the laws set forth by the state impose significant penalties and sentences upon those found guilty of these crimes. Often, assault and battery are used interchangeably, and the meaning of each is commonly misconstrued. As a result, many people are unaware of what particular conduct may have led to the allegations against them.
If you find yourself facing assault or battery charges in San Luis Obispo, take timely legal action by contacting the Aron Law Firm for qualified representation today. With rigorous preparation and discipline, our seasoned criminal defense lawyers analyze every angle in your case to pursue a favorable outcome.
How California's Assault and Battery Penal Codes Differ
In California, assault is committed when one person attempts, threatens, or acts as if they want to attack or injury another physically. You may be found guilty of assault even without making clear contact with another person. On the other hand, battery is committed when one person willfully and unlawfully uses physical force or violence to harm another.
In other words, the key difference between the two is the existence of harm and intent. With battery, intentional or not, you may be charged for bringing physical harm or violence to someone else by actions such as striking, touching, slapping, or pushing. Assault only requires the mere intention to harm another.
Common Assault and Battery Charges in San Luis Obispo
Assault and battery crimes take many forms, which is why it's critical to know what actions and factors led to your charges. These cases become complicated quickly when you have a certain relationship with the victim, when you have dangerous objects, or when they involve protected community members. Common types of assault and battery charges one may face in San Luis Obispo include:
- Simple assault
- Assault on a public official
- Assault against certain public workers
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Battery causing serious bodily injury
- Domestic battery
- Sexual battery
- Spousal battery
Assault or battery may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. For assault, the severity of the charge is generally determined by how far the assailant went to communicate a threat and who the threat was made against. Battery committed against protected classes or on others with a close relation to the defendant is usually charged depending on the extent of one's injuries.
“Wobbler” Assault and Battery Offenses
In some instances, certain crimes may not entail specific charges. These are deemed wobbler offenses, meaning prosecutors have the ability to charge a defendant with a felony or a misdemeanor based on the following considerations:
- Nature and seriousness of the crime
- The defendant's attitude with the police
- The defendant's criminal history
- The defendant's age
- The likelihood of continued criminal behavior
- The defendant's eligibility for probation
Even so, judges make the final determination whether to punish the defendant with the prosecutor's recommendations or not.
Penalty Ranges for Assault or Battery in San Luis Obispo
Simple assault or battery changes that involve next to no injuries or threats are normally punished as misdemeanors. Penalties for misdemeanor simple assault charges may include:
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Jail time of up to 6 months
Penalties for misdemeanor simple battery charges may include:
- Fines of up to $2,000
- Jail time of up to 6 months
Because assault and battery are closely tied, prosecutors always consider aggravating circumstances that may increase the severity of associated penalties. Targeting a vulnerable victim or using a weapon to induce fear may increase fines and jail time. In some cases, the court may substitute jail time for mandated probation programs like anger management counseling, community service, or house arrest.
Conviction of a felony assault or battery offense carries a wide range of harsh punishments. You may face extensive fines, jail time, probation, and participation in court-ordered programs. In addition, California follows the Three Strikes Law, which mandates 25 years to life imprisonment for the defendant's third felony conviction.
San Luis Obispo Assault and Battery Lawyers Defending You
Understanding the specifics of your charges and the gravity of the potential penalties may help you and your San Luis Obispo assault and battery lawyer determine the best course of action. The Aron Law Firm's criminal attorneys have the resources needed to comprehensively investigate your case and collect all relevant evidence in your defense.
At the Aron Law Firm, led by former CA Deputy District Attorney William Aron, we don't make promises we can't keep. No honorable attorney may guarantee your freedom. However, we have an established history of effectively representing and protecting the rights of our San Luis Obispo clients and will advocate passionately on your behalf. Reach our office today by calling (805) 618-1768 or completing our online contact form to schedule a confidential case evaluation.