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The Consequences of Assault in California
Considering how unfavorably California’s judicial system views the crime of assault, it would be an understatement to say that being charged with this offense can have profound and far-reaching consequences.
What’s more, facing these charges puts individuals in a proverbial labyrinth of legal complexities which, if approached without the guidance of a skilled San Diego, CA assault attorney, can result in significant jail time, substantial fines, and a permanent mark on one’s criminal record.
For these reasons, understanding what repercussions assault charges may carry can prove vital for both victims and perpetrators, equipping them with the tools necessary to navigate Golden State’s legal landscape in their pursuit of justice.
Is assault a felony in California?
In Golden State, assault can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense, and it is contingent upon the discretion of the prosecution, typically a district attorney.
The decision to charge a person with a misdemeanor assault vs. felony assault will depend on the presence of aggravating factors, the two main ones being:
- The assailant used a deadly weapon (e.g. knife, gun, baseball bat, etc.);
- The assault resulted in serious bodily injury (e.g. requiring hospitalization or causing long-term impairment).
While felony assault charges can be based on other criteria, such as the intent to commit another crime (e.g. rape, robbery, etc.), gang-related activity, or the existence of prior violent crime convictions, the aforementioned two are typically the defining factors.
What is the charge for assault in San Diego?
Based on the aforementioned criteria, a San Diego DA can choose to charge the assailant for either simple assault or aggravated assault, as follows:
- Simple assault (misdemeanor): If there are no aggravating factors involved in an attempt or threat to inflict injury on another person, the simple assault will typically be charged as a misdemeanor. This offense can result in penalties such as fines of up to $1000 and/or time in county jail.
- Aggravated assault (felony or misdemeanor): If the assault involves one or more aggravating factors, it may be charged as either felony or misdemeanor, depending on the severity of the resulting injuries, as well as other specific circumstances (as noted above). Felony aggravated assault can have more severe penalties, including substantial fines (up to $10,000), longer probation, and a high potential for a state prison sentence.
How long do you go to jail for assault in California?
The length of jail sentence varies based on the severity of the offense:
- Misdemeanor simple assault can result in a jail sentence of up to six months;
- Misdemeanor aggravated assault can result in a jail sentence of up to one year;
- Felony aggravated assault can result in up to four years in state prison.
Do note that additional time may be added, depending on the circumstances of the case and the sentencing judge’s discretion.
However, we must also note that sentences may be influenced by other factors considered during the legal proceedings, such as plea bargains or rehabilitation programs. Finally, alternative sentences, such as probation, fines, or community service may be imposed in lieu of or in addition to jail time.
Which San Diego, CA assault attorney offers the most comprehensive legal assistance?
From North City to San Ysidro and throughout the San Diego area, the Monder Criminal Lawyer Group stands as the paragon of expertise-based legal assistance. Backed by 25+ years of experience and skills honed through thousands of cases, we’re your dedicated ally in pursuit of justice.
Our seasoned team of attorneys is ready to meticulously dissect every facet of your case and leave no stone unturned, building a robust case and devising a sound defense strategy that will ensure the most favorable outcome. Reach out to us today and rest assured that you’ll have unwavering support every step of the way!