San Jose Assault Lawyer
Defending Clients Accused of Assault in Santa Clara County
If you are charged with assault, you face severe and life-altering consequences. An assault conviction in California can result in penalties, fines, and even jail time. Almost any contact with another party can be evidence against you in a trial. For example, if you bump into someone on a busy street, you can be charged with assault — even if it was an accident. Additionally, you can still face assault allegations even if you do not make contact with someone. If you face such allegations, then our San Jose assault attorney can help.
Sometimes hard, working, and good people find themselves in unfortunate situations. For this reason, we believe everyone deserves a second chance. At the Law Offices of Nick Cvietkovich, we have been defending people against assault allegations for years. We use every available tool and resource to prove that you did not intentionally assault someone.
What Is Assault in California?
California Penal Code 240 defines assault as an incident when someone intentionally attempts to cause another person harm. It is important to note that you do not need to touch someone for it to be assaulted physically. If someone physically touches someone else, a battery charge can occur. For example, an assault charge can occur if someone threatens to use violence or invokes fear of harm in another person through an intentional act. Alternatively, a battery charge occurs when someone uses physical force on someone else.
In general, there are a few details that must be proven for a person to be found guilty of assault, including:
- Acted Willfully: Prosecutors will try to claim you acted willfully. Acting willfully means that there was a deliberate attempt to break the law. For example, if someone has text messages of someone threatening an individual, it can be used as evidence against the defendant that they willingly broke the law. Our San Jose assault attorney can scrutinize these claims.
- Aware of Reaction: Since you do not need to touch someone to be charged with assault, the courts will consider if your actions made a reasonable person believe you would use force against them. For example, if a person verbally threatens someone and tells them they will harm them, an individual might reasonably believe that this would happen.
- Ability to Apply Force: For an assault charge to stick, you must prove that you could commit the act. For example, if you have a disability that prevents you from performing the circumstances of the crime, then you can have charges reduced or dismissed.
What are the Penalties for Assault in California?
Assault is a serious criminal offense in California and can result in significant penalties. The specific penalties for assault will depend on the circumstances of the offense, including the severity of the injury caused, the use of a weapon, and the victim's age and occupation. Here are some of the penalties for assault in California:
- Misdemeanor assault: If the assault does not result in serious injury and does not involve a weapon, it may be charged as a misdemeanor. The penalties for misdemeanor assault can include up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
- Felony assault: If the assault results in severe injury or involves a deadly weapon, it may be charged as a felony. Felony assault can result in penalties including up to four years in state prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
- Aggravated assault: If the assault results in significant bodily injury or is committed against a certain protected class of people (such as police officers, firefighters, or public officials), it may be charged as aggravated assault. Aggravated assault can result in penalties, including up to life in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
- Assault with a deadly weapon: Penalties for this offense can include up to four years in state prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
- Assault on a police officer: Penalties for this offense can include up to three years in state prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
It is important to note that there are only some possible penalties for assault in California, and the specific penalties for an individual case will depend on the unique circumstances of the offense. If you have been charged with assault, speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your rights and legal options is important.
Common Defenses Against Assault Charges
You may feel overwhelmed after an arrest or charges of assault. After all, many of the allegations involve abstract testimony and questionable evidence. Since this is the case, contacting an experienced California criminal law attorney is in your best interest as soon as possible. There are a few reliable defense options that our experienced San Jose assault attorney may consider. Contacting an attorney is the best way to determine how to strengthen your defense.
After reviewing your case, our San Jose assault lawyer may advise on a defense strategy that includes the following:
- Failure to Prove Intent: For an assault charge to stick, the prosecutors must prove that you intentionally committed the act. For example, bumping into someone accidentally is not an assault, just a harmless accident. Depending on the circumstances, our San Jose assault attorney can highlight facts that show you did not intend for harmful contact to occur.
- Acted in Self-Defense: You can justify an assault if you committed the offense while defending someone else or yourself. For instance, if you felt genuine concern over the imminent danger that caused you to act, you can use this as a defense.
- False Accusation Defense: The charges against you may be false or misleading. For example, there could be a case of mistaken identity. If this is the case, you can get your assault charge thrown out with the proper representation.
Start your defense with our San Jose assault lawyer!
At Law Offices of Nick Cvietkovich, we have been defending assault charges in California for years. Ultimately, our goal is to dismiss or reduce the charges against you. If you are facing assault charges, we can help.
Local Knowledge & ExperienceWe are a Northern Californian- founded and run firm giving us unique insight into the court system.
Well-Known & Respected TeamThe attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich are not only respected by our peers and clients, but we have the top legal accreditations.
Dedicated & Experienced CounselOur firm has over 15 years of experience and has successfully handled more than 4,500 cases.
If you have been unjustly charged with a crime, you can count on the legal team at Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich to fight for your rights every step of the way. Schedule your free case evaluation with our team today.
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Do you believe that the assault allegations against you are misleading? Has a misunderstanding or heated argument resulted in an assault charge? Do you have questions about your rights and how an attorney can help? You do not need to go through this confusing and traumatic time alone. An experienced and reliable San Jose assault attorney can mitigate your risk and help you move on with your life.
Contact the Law Offices of Nick Cvietkovich today to schedule a FREE consultation with our assault lawyer in San Jose!