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Crime of Assault in California: Charges Explained
Being assaulted or charged for this crime is an unequivocally distressing experience. It has the potential to leave a lasting mark and, in some instances, impact the future of both the victim and the perpetrator. Despite this fact, most people do not know what happens after an assault occurs, how the legal process unfolds, or even how to approach the proceedings effectively.
In the aftermath of an incident, a complex series of legal mechanisms is set into motion, most of which can be difficult to understand and navigate without the assistance of an experienced assault attorney from San Diego, CA. Today, we will demystify one of the pivotal stages of the process: assault charges.
Does someone need to press charges for assault in California?
“Would you like to press charges?” has to be one of the most commonly uttered sentences in any movie and TV show involving law enforcement officers – and it is wrong almost to the point of being nonsensical.
In California, the initiation of assault charges does not necessarily hinge upon a victim of the crime. In the context of criminal offenses in general, the decision to pursue legal action typically rests with law enforcement and the prosecuting authorities.
The reason for this is that crimes, including assault, are considered offenses against the state as much as against an individual, effectively enabling law enforcement agencies to independently pursue legal action, irrespective of the victim’s stance on the issue.
Therefore, while the victim does not have to press charges in person, as that decision rests with the respective authorities, their cooperation and participation in the process can be vital for the handling and outcome of the case.
Can you drop assault charges in California?
Another common misconception is that the victim of the assault can drop related charges, which is, once again, wrong. Similarly to the previous instance, the decision to abandon charges rests with the state authorities. Typically, this means the district attorney or attorney general, but can also involve other local authorities in whose jurisdiction the crime occurred.
It should be noted that the victim can choose to withdraw from the case and request that the charges be dropped. However, even if they do so, it will still be up to the prosecution to decide whether or not to continue pursuing legal action against the accused.
Can I sue for assault in California?
The Golden State gives victims of the assault the legal right to pursue civil action by filing a lawsuit against the perpetrator. Do note that, unlike criminal charges which are brought forth by the state authorities, a civil lawsuit is initiated by the victim.
Additionally, only criminal charges can lead to penalties such as fines or imprisonment, while a civil lawsuit focuses on ensuring compensation for damages incurred during the assault, such as:
- Medical expenses;
- Therapy costs;
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering.
The final thing that should be noted is that criminal charges are distinct from a civil lawsuit, allowing for the two legal actions to be undertaken simultaneously.
Where can I find a well-versed assault attorney near me in San Diego, CA?
At Monder Criminal Lawyer Group, we specialize in providing comprehensive legal guidance to individuals facing criminal charges, including charges of assault and battery. With extensive experience navigating the complexities of California’s legal system, we’re the top choice when it comes to advocating for your rights.
You can trust our seasoned team to work with you every step of the way and explore every legal avenue available in order to build a sound case and provide you with the robust defense that you need. Visit our offices near Horton Plaza Park or get in touch with us and ensure you have skillful and dedicated guidance throughout the process.