Criminal assault is against both federal and state laws. While the definition can vary from one state to another, in California there are three categories of this offense: Assault, assault and battery, and aggravated assault. Keep reading to learn more about the various types of assault charged in California and then contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 if you need a free legal consultation.
The Definition of Assault
Assault is defined as the intentional act of threatening or committing physical harm. You will note from this definition that assault does not have to involve any actual act of physical violence – making a threat is enough to be charged with assault. Threats can be wielding weapons and pointing them at others or even just waving your first at another person. While physical contact is not necessary, this charge only applies when there is some type of physical act. For example, if a person simply verbally threatened a person it would not be assault, though it would be a different crime.
In order to be convicted of assault the prosecution must be able to show that the alleged victim was reasonable in their fear. If it was simply a joke, or if you did not have the means or ability to follow through with the threat, then it is not assault. Assault can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony in California.
The Definition of Assault and Battery
Technically battery and assault are two different charges but it is common for a person to be charged with both assault and battery. Battery means that physical harm did happen. It may be due to a purposeful act by the defendant or due to reckless behavior. As is true of simple assault, assault and battery can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.
The Definition of Aggravated Assault
Essentially, aggravated assault is a more serious version of assault and is always a felony. It can involve the use of a weapon, such as a gun or knife. It can also be charged in conjunction with other crimes, such as rape. Aggravated assault is often charged when assault happens between two people in a relationship in which there is a constant threat of serious harm. Aggravated assault is further broken down into first-, second-, and third-degree assault.
Call Now for a Free Legal Consultation with a Defense Attorney
Now is the time to contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell for a free legal consultation. When you reach us at (949) 585-9055 we will start with a free legal case evaluation. We will provide this confidential service to let you know what the charges against you mean and what you may expect if they move forward. If you decide to work with us, we will provide defense options to ensure you know what your choices are. Call us now and let us get started right away.