Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson

247 N. Third Street, San Jose, CA 95112

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San Jose Assault and Battery Defense Lawyer

San Jose Assault and Battery Attorney

Criminal Defense Attorney in Santa Clara County, Alameda County, and the Surrounding Areas

Often times "assault and battery" is seen as one crime; however, each crime carries its own set of consequences. When you are charged with assault, it refers to an intentional attempt to injure another person physically. Battery relates to the intentional and unlawful use of force or violence against another individual. In the State of California, people who are arrested for assault or battery can be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances.

If you are arrested, it is always advisable to retain the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson, we have over a decade of experience helping clients who have been charged with assault or battery. Attorney Erik Johnson understands the applicable laws in California as well as the possible defenses to help get your case resolved successfully.

California Assault and Battery Laws

"Assault" in California occurs when an individual willfully attempts to use physical force to harm another person or when the individual threatens someone else and creates a fear of imminent bodily harm. If convicted of simple assault, a person can face up to $1,000 in fines, six months imprisonment, require attendance in a domestic abuse education program, and community service.

While many assaults are classified as "simple assault," there also certain circumstances that can result in a charge of aggravated assault. An individual is likely to be charged with felony assault if an EMT, fireman, law enforcement officer, traffic officer, paramedic, or another type of government employee is attacked. These charges can result in even more severe penalties.

Assault can also be a strike offense under California's Three Strike Law if the assault was committed with a weapon such as a gun or even a vehicle.

California defines "battery" as the act of willfully touching someone in a harmful or offensive manner. The common misunderstanding is that the victim must suffer an actual injury. However, no injury is required to prove this offense; rather the prosecution must show that the touching was offensive to both the victim and would be offensive to the sentiments of a "reasonable person."

Battery is a misdemeanor offense and is punishable by six months in the county jail, a $2000 fine and up to five years of probation. However, if there are special allegations a battery can be charged as a felony. A few examples include:

  • Battery that results in great bodily injury (PC 243(d).)
  • Battery on a peace officer causing injury (PC 243(c)(2).)
  • Sexual battery if the victim was restrained (PC 243.4)
  • Domestic violence causing a traumatic injury (PC 243.5)

Potential Defenses

There are several common defenses that an experienced lawyer is often able to raise in response to a charge of assault or battery. These arguments include the following:

  • Consent to the Contact - It is a defense that the victim consented to the touching, so long as the touching was within the scope of that consent.
  • Defense of Person - A person may use reasonable force to protect himself or others from an assault. However, only that force which is reasonably necessary to repel the danger is justified under this theory.
  • Defense of Property - People are entitled to defend against damage to their property or the property of others. As with defending people, only that amount of force may be used, which is reasonably necessary to deflect the assault.
  • Accident - Although battery is a general intent crime, which means there is no requirement that an injury was intended, the conduct itself must be willful. A mere accident is a defense to the crime of battery.

Contact a San Jose Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are charged with assault or battery, a conviction can result in very strict penalties. Attorney Erik Johnson has helped many individuals create strong defenses to respond to these charges. If you are accused of a criminal offense, contact our law office today at 408-246-3004 for a free consultation. We serve clients throughout the Bay Area, including Campbell, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Palo Alto, Milpitas, Santa Clara County, and Alameda County.

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