If you are facing an assault charge, you need an effective and experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. Some charges can expose you to a potential life sentence if you have past exposure under the "Three Strikes Law." If you have questions about your case, Sam J. Polverino can shed light on what the charges mean and how the system works. He can explain the obstacles confronting you and discuss your defense options.
WHAT IS ASSAULT?
Assault charges can range from felonies to misdemeanors. For example, misdemeanor assaults includes battery which is defined as any offensive touching. On the other hand, an aggravated assault is a felony. The act is usually accompanied by serious injury to a victim or a criminal threat to another person.
An assault can happen even if the alleged victim did not suffer physical harm. And a criminal threat charge can occur even if you did not make physical contact with the accuser. An assault charge such as Penal Code section 422 (criminal threats) can be issued if a person receives a personal threat or simply feels threatened provided all of the elements of the crime are met. As a result, assault charges can be highly subjective. Individuals are sometimes wrongfully arrested. Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer could mean the difference between a permanent criminal conviction or a positive outcome.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ASSAULT AND BATTERY
Although people often group "assault and battery," together as one crime, they are two separate terms and are actually very different from one another. Prosecutors typically file an " assault" charge where there is felony contact. Thus an assault charge is generally governed by the extent of the injury to the alleged victim. An assault charge can be alleged in a number of different ways, some of which are capable of being reduced to misdemeanors and subsequently dismissed. Others assaults can be charged in a fashion that makes them a "strike" under the Three Strikes Law.
A misdemeanor " battery" is frequently charged where the interaction is minor or the victim's injuries are less severe. A battery does not require an injury. Any "unlawful touching'" if done in a rude or angry manner, can constitute a battery. There are a number of defenses which are applicable to assault and battery charges that can result in a favorable outcome, including a dismissal. There may be a defense when both parties in the altercation agreed to engage in such conduct – "mutual combat" for example. Prosecutors frequently disfavor battery prosecutions because they rely upon witnesses and alleged victims who themselves may have past criminal records; such persons have also have a bias or motive to be untruthful. Often the ability of a witness to perceive or remember an incident accurately is impaired by distance or intoxication. There are a number of defenses to assault and battery cases including self-defense, which can result in a very favorable outcome.
When a person is arrested, it is common to feel hopeless, scared or overwhelmed when faced with the criminal system. However, an arrest does not mean you will be convicted. It also does not mean that the version of the events in the police report is accurate or truthful. An experienced criminal defense attorney such as Sam J. Polverino is well versed in every scenario surrounding these prosecutions. He knows the best possible tactics and strategy to defend your case. Legal defenses against an assault charge can include the following:
Accused person lacked the ability to carry out an assault
Defense of others or property
Lack of intent
If you have been accused of an assault or battery charge, seek legal help from an experienced and effective attorney. Sam J. Polverino has more than 30 years of experience successfully representing people who have been accused of crimes. Legal proceedings often involve many crucial deadlines. The sooner you retain a lawyer, the greater likelihood that your particular case can be addressed and defended. Often, prosecutors will reject the filing of a case if an experienced attorney discusses the matter and explains circumstances not reflected in the police report. At such a stressful time, you owe it to yourself – and your future - to seek a lawyer who has the experience to defend you. Contact Mr. Polverino to discuss your case.