Assault is one of the most commonly charged crimes throughout California. Too often, assault charges are filed against innocent individuals who committed no crime. Crime rates have declined in Orange County over the past couple of decades, but law enforcement agencies continue to make assault arrests every day. In 2012, there were 742 assaults reported in Anaheim and 727 in Santa Ana. Hundreds of assaults were reported in Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, and elsewhere in the OC.
Thousands of people are arrested for assault each year in all of the SoCal communities that surround Orange County.
If you are charged with an assault in Orange County, Riverside, or elsewhere in Southern California, you need help from an assault lawyer who understands the problem you face. Randy Collins will give you his prompt and personal attention. Call The Law Office of Randy Collins at (888) 250-2865 to get the assistance you need.
Types of Assault Charges and Their Penalties
A simple assault, as defined by California Penal Code 240, is nothing more than a willful attempt to inflict an injury upon another person. Swinging a fist at another person is an example of an assault. So is throwing a glass at someone during a bar fight.
Assault is related to the separate crime of battery. While battery requires proof that the accused caused an injury, assault merely requires proof that the accused did something that was likely to result in an injury. Assault is essentially an attempt to commit a battery.
Simple assault is a misdemeanor. Jail time is a potential consequence of conviction. Harsher penalties apply if the victim is a police officer or belongs to one of several other specified professions, including firefighters and paramedics. Enhanced penalties also apply to an assault committed by using force that is likely to cause a very serious injury.
Assault with a deadly weapon, a violation of California Penal Code 245(a)(1), is an assault that is committed with a gun, knife, or anything else that is used as a weapon. Prosecutors can charge that crime as a serious misdemeanor or as a felony. The crime of assault with a deadly weapon is always a felony if it is committed against a police officer or if certain kinds of firearms and other weapons are used to commit the crime.
Randy Collins defends individuals accused of all forms of assault charges throughout Southern California. He also defend individuals accused of related crimes, including:
- Disturbing the peace
- Domestic violence charges
- Sexual assaults
Possible Assault Defenses
Many accusations of assault are unwarranted. Some result from mistaken perceptions. You might be arrested for assault because you lost your balance and accidentally shoved someone. The bartender who told the police that you threw a glass during a bar fight might have confused you with the person who actually committed the crime.
Other accusations are deliberately false. They may be motivated by jealousy or envy, by a desire for revenge, or by the belief that the accuser’s job security will be enhanced if an assault arrest leads to the termination of your employment.
Sometimes the use of force is not a crime. You have the right to use reasonable force to defend yourself from an attack. Unfortunately, the police may arrest you because they did not see the attack that preceded your defensive use of force.
Even if you committed the crime, accusers and witnesses often embellish or overstate the facts. Your conduct may not have been nearly as serious as the arresting officer believes it to be. Other evidence may mitigate your conduct. Provocation is not a defense to assault (although juries tend to return Not Guilty verdicts if they believe the accuser “had it coming”), but provocation is a mitigating fact that can be used to minimize the consequences of an assault charge.
Your defense attorney’s job is to let the truth be known. Whether the truth comes out in a trial or during negotiations with a prosecutor, you need an Orange County criminal defense attorney to present your side of the story in its most favorable light.
Defenses of mistake or accident, false accusation, and self-defense can all be wielded by a skilled defense lawyer to help you avoid an unjust conviction. A careful presentation of mitigating evidence can persuade prosecutors to dismiss charges or to offer resolutions that avoid convictions or jail time.
Dependable Assault Defense in Orange County
Selected as an “OC Metro Top Attorney”, Randy Collins has years of success helping clients achieve favorable outcomes in assault cases. From jury verdicts of Not Guilty to dismissals of charges to negotiated settlements that avoid convictions, Randy Collins has earned the respect and appreciation of clients charged with assault offenses in Southern California.
Call (888) 250-2865 to have your case evaluated by experienced legal professionals with a history of success.