California Assault & Battery Defense Lawyer

Assault Attorney, Los Angeles & Orange County

If you are accused of an assault or battery crime in Los Angeles or Orange County, be very careful. The consequences of a conviction can be disastrous.

It is key to get a skilled assault attorney or battery crime lawyer on your side asap. All cases can potentially be won no matter how they appear at first.

Our award-winning assault attorneys are expert at fighting to get the best possible outcome, reduce or dismiss charges and keep you out of jail. We are here to help.

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The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers award
US News & World Best Lawyer Rating
California Assault & Battery Attorney Awards: Findlaw 5 Star Rating, Google 5 Star Rating
Justia 10.0 Lawyer Rating

Experienced Assault and Battery Attorneys

California assault and battery laws cover a wide range of crimes. While the word “battery” implies a serious beating, you can be charged even if there is no injury at all. Accusations are easily exaggerated and little to no physical evidence may be required.

Our outstanding record handling 1,000’s of cases includes: assault, simple battery, aggravated battery, assault with a deadly weapon, domestic battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, battery on a police officer and elder abuse charges.

Former Prosecutor Fighting For You

Our former District Attorneys know exactly how police, courts and Prosecutors build their case against you and where to look for flaws to use in your defense.

Often it is not the facts of the case that result in the best outcome, but understanding the system, relationships and a smart presentation of your case to the court or DA. Our assault defense lawyers know the legal system inside and out.

You can rest assured our Orange County or Los Angeles assault and battery lawyers will fight vigorously to defend you and achieve the best resolution possible.

We offer affordable fees and flexible payment plans.

Protect Your Freedom

Former DA, top rated lawyers with 75+ years of experience

When facing a criminal charge, you need a top Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer with experience and proven legal skills by your side. It is essential to have an attorney that will work quickly and confidently to protect you and present your side of the story.

We understand the stress and high stakes you’re dealing with. When you entrust us with your defense, we feel the full weight of responsibility and will work vigorously to secure the best possible outcome for you.

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Assault and battery resources

California assault and battery laws

Assault and battery are actually two separate crimes, even though they are often mentioned together. Criminal charges are subject to a statute of limitations or time limit by which charges must be made against an alleged offender.

California laws define levels of assault or battery crimes:

  1. Assault: can be merely attempting to physically injure someone. Assault does not require any physical contact or injury.
  2. Battery: actually inflicting force or violence on someone, although the victim does not have to experience pain or injury.
  3. Aggravated battery causing ‘serious bodily injury’ by willfully touching someone in a harmful or offensive manner that causes injury.
  4. Aggravated battery causing ‘great bodily injury’ with serious physical injuries, pain and/or medical care.

Our Los Angeles assault crimes defense lawyer will skillfully defend you for all assault and battery charges in the California Penal Code including:

Even minor touching can result in criminal charges

Our Orange County assault and battery crime attorney understands that being convicted of a violent assault crime in Orange County or Los Angeles can affect your future, your job, your freedom and sometimes immigration status.

Any contact during a tense moment can be enough for Police and DAs to charge you with a battery crime. Even if no harm is inflicted and little to no force is involved.

Police and judges often assume that assault and battery incidents are severe beatings that could result in murder. The reality is heated arguments, stress, alcohol or simmering anger issues often cause a flare up that may work itself out without police intervention.

Once the police are called and arrive, someone will almost always be arrested and hauled to jail. Police officers rarely have a choice whether to arrest someone.

Hiring an assault defense attorney

The first thing to do if you’ve been arrested or are being investigated for any battery crime is to hire a top Orange County battery crime defense attorney. The life-long consequences of a criminal conviction can be hard to overcome.

Assault | Penal Code 240 pc

California Penal Code 240 pc defines the misdemeanor crime of assault, also referred to as “simple assault”. No one needs to actually have suffered any injury, pain or even been touched to be guilty of assault.

The statute reads:

240 pc: An assault is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.

In order to convict a defendant of 240 pc, the prosecutor must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant willfully (not accidentally) did some act that was likely to cause the use of force against another person.
  2. The defendant was aware of facts when they acted that would cause a reasonable person to realize that their act would directly and probably result in the application of force on another person; and
  3. The defendant had the ability to use force on the other person when they acted.

EXAMPLES:

  • At a bar, an intoxicated man gets into an argument and starts throwing punches at a patron. Due to his drunken state none of the punches actually connect. Even though he never actually touches the other person, he can be charged with assault.
  • An angry mental health patient is restrained at a hospital and threatens to punch you. Because he is restrained, he doesn’t have the present ability to use force when he threatened. So he could not be charged with 240 pc.

An experienced Long Beach criminal defense lawyer can develop an effective defense strategy that highlights any weaknesses in the DA’s allegation.

PENALTIES FOR MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT | 240 pc

  • Up to 6 months in county jail
  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • Misdemeanor “summary” probation.

If the assault victim is a protected law enforcement officer or emergency personnel, and you knew, or reasonably should have known, they were engaged in the performance of their duties, the penalties may be increased to:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail
  • A fine of up to $2,000

Protected law enforcement officers and emergency personnel include:

  • Police, peace officer, parking control officer or traffic officer.
  • Firefighter or search and rescue member.
  • Paramedic or emergency medical technician.
  • Lifeguard or process server.
  • Animal control officer or code enforcement officer.
  • Doctor or nurse providing emergency medical care.

Call 844 325-1444 for a Free Consultation

Get Your Charges Dropped or Reduced and Protect Your Future! If you are looking to hire a criminal defense lawyer, we invite you to call for a free confidential consultation 7 days a week.

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Battery | 242 pc

California Penal Code 242 pc defines the misdemeanor crime of battery, also referred to as “simple battery”. While the word “battery” conjures up images of serious beatings, you can be charged with battery even if you didn’t cause any injury or even pain.

The statute reads:

242 pc: A battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.

In order to convict a defendant of 240 pc, the prosecutor must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant willfully (not accidentally) did some act that was likely to cause the use of force against another person.
  2. The defendant was aware of facts when they acted that would cause a reasonable person to realize that their act would directly and probably result in the application of force on another person; and
  3. The defendant had the ability to use force on the other person when they acted.

EXAMPLES:

  • A man at a concert throws his beer bottle in the air and it hits another person in the head injuring him. He can be charged with 242 pc battery. If the bottle causes serious injury he could be charged with aggravated battery 243(d) pc.
  • Two men mutually decide to “step outside” to have a fight. Neither man can be charged with battery as they both consented.

PENALTIES FOR MISDEMEANOR BATTERY | 242 pc

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A fine of up to $2,000.
  • and/or misdemeanor “summary” probation.

Aggravated battery | 243(d) pc

California Penal Code 243(d) pc defines “aggravated battery” as battery causing serious bodily injury. This “wobbler” offense can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor crime depending on the severity of injuries, criminal history and circumstances of the crime.

The statute reads:

243(d) pc: When a battery is committed against any person and serious bodily injury is inflicted on the person, the battery is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two, three, or four years.

California criminal jury instructions No. 925 explains that to be found guilty of 243(d) pc the prosecutor must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant willfully (not accidentally) touches another person in a harmful or offensive way. The touching can be done directly, or by causing an object or someone else to touch the person.
  2. The person touched suffered a “serious bodily injury” as a result of the force used.
  3. AND the defendant did not act in self defense, defense of someone else or while reasonably disciplining a child.

A “serious bodily injury” is defined as a “serious impairment of a physical condition”. While it is ultimately up to a jury to decide what constitutes a serious bodily injury, commonly accepted examples include:

  • Loss of consciousness or concussion.
  • Bone fracture.
  • Protracted loss or impairment of function of any bodily member or organ.
  • A wound requiring extensive suturing.
  • Any serious disfigurement.

EXAMPLES:

  • An angry woman slaps another woman hard at a bar in a heated argument. The woman has facial redness and bruising, but is otherwise ok. This would not likely be charged as aggravated battery.
  • However if the woman victim falls off her bar stool and hits her head on the floor causing an cut injury requiring stitches, that would likely be charged as battery causing serious bodily injury.

PENALTIES FOR MISDEMEANOR AGGRAVATED BATTERY | 243(d) pc

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A fine of up to $1,000.
  • and/or misdemeanor “summary” probation.

PENALTIES FOR FELONY AGGRAVATED BATTERY | 243(d) pc

  • 2 to 4 years in state prison.
  • Formal felony probation, and/or
  • A fine of up to $10,000.
  • An additional 3-6 years in prison if you caused the victim “great bodily injury” or a significant physical injury (12022.7 pc great bodily injury enhancement).
  • Count as a strike under the Three Strikes Law if involved great bodily injury.
  • Potential loss of a professional license (such as attorney license to practice).

“Lawyer Tsion recently handled a complex case for my family member. She and her paralegals are beyond reproach. We were hoping for a plea reduction to dry reckless on a Los Angeles DUI charge. Ms Chudnovsky got the Airport Court case entirely dismissed with no probation or monetary fines. We would recommend her and her associates to those looking for capable defense attorneys.”

JESSIE

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Assault with a deadly weapon | 245(a)(1) pc

California Penal Code 245(a)(1) pc defines unlawful assault with a deadly weapon. This “wobbler” offense can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor crime depending on the severity of injuries, criminal history and circumstances of the assault.

The statute reads:

245(a)(1) pc: Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.

To be found guilty of 245(a)(1) pc the prosecutor must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant willfully (not accidentally) either:
    • Acted with a non-firearm deadly weapon that by its nature would directly and probably result in the application of force to a person, OR
    • The defendant did an act that by its nature would directly and probably result in the application of force to a person, and the force used was likely to produce great bodily injury.
  2. The defendant was aware of facts when they acted that would cause a reasonable person to realize that their act would directly and probably result in the application of force on another person; AND
  3. The defendant had the present ability to use force on the other person when they acted; AND
  4. The defendant did not act in self defense or defense of someone else.

A “deadly weapon” is defined as defined as any object, weapon, or instrument which is used in such a manner at to make it capable of producing or likely to produce great bodily injury or death. Some examples can include: a bottle, a pen used to stab, a slingshot, a hammer, a trained attack pit bull, or an automobile used to run someone down.

EXAMPLES:

  • An angry woman attempts to run over someone flipping her off on the street with her car. The person manages to dodge the vehicle and escape uninjured. The woman can be charged with assault with a deadly weapon even though there is no contact.
  • A man gets in a heated argument at a bar and punches a man in the face. This would generally not be classified as assault with a deadly weapon unless the man was a professional fighter that could seriously injure with his hands.

MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON PENALTIES | 245(a)(1) pc

  • Up to 1 year in jail,
  • Significant court fines,
  • Restitution to the victim, and
  • Loss of the weapon.

FELONY ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON PENALTIES | 245(a)(1) pc

  • 2 to 4 years in state prison and/or
  • A fine of up to $10,000.
  • Victim restitution.
  • Up to an additional 5 years in prison and designation as a “strike” if the victim was a peace officer.
  • Up to 12 years in prison if a deadly firearm was used.

Call 844 325-1444 to get help now

Get Your Charges Dropped or Reduced and Protect Your Future! If you are looking to hire an assault defense lawyer, we invite you to call for a Free confidential consultation 7 days a week.

Get a Free Consultation

Assault & battery victim civil lawsuit for damages

Battery victims have the right under U.S. law to sue their attacker for compensation for damages such as medical costs, lost salary, and pain and suffering. This right can even exist when the attacker hasn’t been convicted of a crime.

In civil damages claims, the victim merely has to prove the battery occurred by a “preponderance of the evidence”. This more forgiving standard means you have to show evidence that “more likely than not” the attacker committed the battery to be able to sue for damages.

You can contact our personal injury attorneys for more information and a free consultation about your rights.

Los Angeles

AT METROPOLITAN COURT

CERCA DE METROPOLITAN COURT

PRÈS DE METROPOLITAN COURT

1933 S Broadway #1100, Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 212-5002

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Direcciones

Orange County

NEAR HARBOR JUSTICE CENTER

CERCA DEL CENTRO DE JUSTICIA DE HARBOR

PRÈS DE HARBOR JUSTICE CENTER

23 Corporate Plaza Dr, Suite 150, Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 750-2500

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Long Beach

NEAR LONG BEACH COURT

CERCA DE LA CORTE

PRÈS DE LONG BEACH COURT

309 Pine Ave, Suite 200, Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 800-4080

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Santa Monica

BY SANTA MONICA PIER

CERCA DEL MUELLE

PRÈS DE LA JETÉE

1541 Ocean Ave, Suite 200, Santa Monica, CA 90401
(424) 340-7220

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Cities Served

We represent clients throughout southern California from our Los Angeles and Orange County offices, including:

Los Angeles County: Alhambra, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Buena Park, Burbank, Culver City, El Segundo, Encino, Glendale, Hollywood, Huntington Park, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Pasadena, Pomona, San Fernando, Santa Clarita, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, Van Nuys, Venice, Ventura, West Hollywood, West Los Angeles and Woodland Hills.

·  ·  ·

Orange County: Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster and Yorba Linda.

·  ·  ·

Written by Tsion Chudnovsky, Robert Weinberg and Suzanne Crouts.

Avvo 10.0 Superb Rating
The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers award
US News & World Best Lawyer Rating
California Assault & Battery Attorney Awards: Findlaw 5 Star Rating, Google 5 Star Rating
Justia 10.0 Lawyer Rating