Assault and Battery Attorney San Diego: Defending Your Legal Rights

If you're facing criminal charges in San Diego, California for assault, battery, or other related crimes, it's essential to speak to an experienced San Diego assault and battery attorney as soon as possible. Assault and battery charges are serious offenses that can result in severe penalties and life-changing consequences.

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Assault & Battery Attorney Lawyer San Diego

An assault lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and understand the laws, process, and possible consequences. If you need a San Diego assault or battery attorney, Superior Law firm is here for you.

Understanding Assault and Battery Laws in California

The California Penal Code contains multiple sections describing assault and battery charges, along with their respective penalties. While the term “assault” is often used interchangeably with “battery,” it’s actually a separate crime.

Under California Penal Code 240, assaults are an attempt to to cause personal injury to another person violently or forcefully. On the other hand, battery is defined as any intentional physical act that results in bodily harm to another person, including unwanted touching or sexual abuse.

It’s important to note that, as opposed to battery, physical contact isn’t always necessary for the alleged perpetrator to be convicted of assault. If the perpetrator’s actions led to fear of imminent bodily harm, then it is deemed to be an assault even if no physical act is committed.

To be convicted of a San Diego assault charge, the prosecuting lawyer must prove that:

  • You committed an act involving the use of force against another individual
  • The act was committed willfully
  • You knew a reasonable person would conclude that your act involved force
  • You were capable of acting violently and forcefully toward another person

Is It Simple or Aggravated Assault?

Assault charges in California fall into two main categories: simple assault and aggravated assault. Simple assault is generally classified as a misdemeanor and occurs when someone tries to hurt or threatens to hurt another person.

Aggravated assault, on the other hand, can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. Someone commits aggravated assault when they cause serious bodily injury to another person, use a deadly weapon, or assault someone with intent to commit a crime.

Types of San Diego Assault Charges

There are various types for criminal charges you might be facing if you’ve been arrested for assault, battery, or other related crimes in San Diego. Your assault might be considered “simple,” or there might be other factors involved that can change the type of charge you receive.

If you’re facing assault charges, it’s important to understand the specific charges against you to know what potential penalties you’re facing. Here are a few:

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Assault with a deadly weapon is a severe offense that involves the use of a lethal weapon other than a firearm, such as brass knuckles, baseball bats, or knives. A convicted individual can face up to 5 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.

Assault with a Firearm

Assault with a firearm is another serious charge that involves the use of a gun or rifle to cause great bodily injury to assault victims. The punishment for assaulting someone with a firearm in California includes jail or prison time for up to 4 years, and a possible fine up to $10,000.

Domestic Violence

A domestic violence incident occurs when physical harm is caused to a person other than a family member, such as a spouse, cohabitant, or dating partner. Domestic violence charges carry a range of penalties — probation, rehabilitation, and fines are mandatory for all sentences, and some cases can result in jail or prison time.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault occurs when a perpetrator approaches another individual without their consent to cause sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse. This type of offense can result in misdemeanor or felony charges, with jail or prison time up to 4 hours and fines up to $10,000. Some sexual offenders may also be required to register for 10 years to life.

San Diego Area Assault Penalties

San Diego, and the entire state of California, considers aggravated assault to be a “wobbler,” meaning that depending on the circumstances, it may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. A felony is the most serious charge, while a misdemeanor has lighter penalties.

According to California Penal Code 243, the penalties for simple assault charged as a misdemeanor include:

  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • A maximum term of 6 months in a San Diego County jail
  • Probation for 6 months

Enhanced penalties apply for assaults against specific people, such as police officers and other public workers. These penalties include increases such as:

  • A fine of up to $2,000
  • A maximum term of 1 year in a San Diego County jail
  • Probation for 1 year

Felonies are even more serious and carry more severe penalties than misdemeanors. The biggest differences are longer sentences with time served in prison rather than jail. Penalties for felony assault include:

  • A California state prison sentence of up to 4 years
  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • Probation for up to 4 years
  • Additional consequences such as the loss of the right to own a firearm or the right to vote

In addition, a felony in San Diego counts as a “strike” under California’s notorious Three Strikes Law. In addition, injury victims may be able to recover punitive damages for medical expenses, pain, suffering, and other losses.

Understanding Civil vs. Criminal Charges

Under California law, assault charges can be tried as either a civil or criminal case, and it’s important to understand the differences between the two.

If assault is tried as a felony, it’s considered a criminal charge. For example, if an individual commits assault with a deadly weapon or sexually assaults another person, they will likely be charged with a crime. In such cases, injury victims may experience permanent physical issues from their personal injury as well as psychological trauma.

On the other hand, if assault is tried in San Diego civil court, it’s considered an intentional tort. In this case, the victim must prove that the defendant intended to cause them physical harm.

In any case of assault, the prosecuting lawyer must prove that you had the present ability to apply force or violence and that you were aware of this ability.

The burden of proof is higher in criminal courts, where the prosecution must prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In contrast, civil courts only require a “preponderance of evidence,” a lower standard of proof, to find defendants guilty.

Assault cases in San Diego are rarely simple or clear-cut, and plaintiffs and their legal teams will do everything possible to prove intent and seek maximum compensation. If found guilty, defendants may face penalties or fines.

In addition, if the victim sustained personal injury, their lawyer may pursue a personal injury case to recover punitive damages for medical bills, pain, suffering, and other losses.

For this reason, it’s essential to have a San Diego assault and battery lawyer on your side. A skilled lawyer knows assault and battery laws and can provide legal advice on how to proceed when facing assault charges.

"Eric is very good at being your voice in the field of law. If you need some that is responsible, when it come to taking care of your legal needs. This lawyer has gone the extra mile for me and so has the great people he works with. I thank you."


Michael Weise

San Diego
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What To Do if Accused of Assault in San Diego

In the event you’ve been arrested for assault or battery, responding appropriately is the first step. You must avoid speaking to the police without a lawyer as anything you say can be used against you in court.

Whether you’re facing a civil or criminal case in San Diego, having a knowledgeable lawyer by your side is key to protecting your rights and human life. An assault and battery lawyer knows the California Penal Code and can help you throughout the process.

At the Superior Law Center, our San Diego assault and battery lawyers can provide the legal support you need to fight your charges. As former California Supreme Court litigators, our super lawyers have the experience it takes to represent you effectively.

Need a San Diego Assault Lawyer? Contact Superior Law Center

Under the laws of California, assault and battery are severe offenses.

Besides the penalties of criminal prosecution, you can face additional consequences, some of which are life-long. Your San Diego criminal case will enter your criminal record, which is available to potential employers and financial institutions. Getting jobs, loans, and even professional licenses will be challenging.

Don’t gamble with your future by facing these charges in alone. The experienced assault and battery attorneys at Superior Law Center in San Diego are there to defend your rights and fight the allegations made against you.

Our law firms attorneys serve clients in the San Diego area as well as nearby areas, including Beverly Hills, ensuring everyone in California can get quality legal representation. Contact us online or call a lawyer today at (619) 743-9130 for a free consultation.

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Defenses for Assault and Battery Cases

After a free consultation and establishing an attorney client relationship, an experienced defense attorney can help you understand your legal rights and explore your defenses to the charges against you.

There are many possible ways your civil or criminal charges can be defended, and it takes a law firm with a proven track record in assault, battery, and related charges to land a win in civil or criminal court. Our skilled assault and battery lawyers in San Diego have the necessary experience to help you win your case.

Some of the possible defenses that your assault and battery attorney may use include:

You Didn’t Intend to Inflict Physical Harm

Sometimes, regrettable things happen in the heat of the moment. A San Diego defense attorney may argue that you didn’t intend to use violence.

Consider the case of a young man in San Diego who was involved in a bar brawl and, while being pulled away by his buddies, lashed out and accidentally hit a bystander, causing neck injuries.

Other examples include scenarios where the alleged victim’s injuries were caused by inadequate security or a hazard left unchanged that you can’t be held responsible for.

No matter the circumstances of your case, your lawyer will try to prove that you’re not guilty of assault, battery, or any crime.

Your Actions Were in Self-Defense

If you were defending yourself or another person and used force against your alleged victim to the extent of causing personal injury, you shouldn’t be charged for assault and battery.

In this case, a San Diego assault attorney will argue that you reasonably believed you or another person was in danger of bodily harm. Using force or violence was the only way to get yourself out of the situation, but you used more force/violence than necessary.

You Didn’t Act Willfully

Perhaps during the incident, the alleged victim misinterpreted your actions. Maybe the actions were accidental, a result of a business owner failing to provide adequate security. If you didn’t commit intentional acts of violence, a battery attorney at the Superior Law Center will ensure the prosecutor hears your story.

You’re Falsely Accused

Frequently, people are accused of assault they didn’t commit. California law does not require physical contact with the victim, so some people abuse this to make false claims.

If you’re falsely accused of assault or battery, your San Diego lawyer will work to ensure you aren’t held responsible, gathering the necessary evidence such as witness accounts to reveal the truth.