Assault Charge Lawyer in San Francisco
If you or a loved one is facing assault charges, turning to an experienced assault charge lawyer in San Francisco is crucial to protect your rights, freedom, and reputation.
What Cases Can an Assault Charge Lawyer in San Francisco Handle?
In California, an assault charge can be filed against someone who unlawfully attempts to inflict violent injury on another person. However, the court will expect you to prove that the alleged offender had the capability to inflict a violent injury. According to current statistics, in 2019 the nationwide rate for aggravated assault was 250.2 cases per 100,000 of the population.
Now that we’ve defined an assault charge, let’s explain what an assault case entails.
An assault case is a criminal case based on a credible threat to cause physical harm or injury to a third party. To constitute assault, there must be the threat of a physical attack; real physical contact is unnecessary.
Many laypeople conflate the terms ‘assault’ and ‘battery.’ Although people can be charged with both offenses for the same incident, they are two separate crimes. A battery is an unwanted contact with another person intending to cause injury. An assault charge can either be a misdemeanor or a felony.
State law regarding assault requires the prosecution to present evidence and prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
- the act was intentional,
- the accused could carry out the act, and,
- that a reasonable person will acknowledge that the actions of the accused person would result in the application of force to another
But can an assault charge attorney handle every assault case? The simple answer to this question is yes. A top San Francisco criminal defense attorney like Valery Nechay can handle the following types of assault cases as well as other criminal charges.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon
This is the use of a dangerous weapon other than a firearm to assault another person or the use of force that is likely to cause immediate bodily harm or serious injury.
Anyone convicted of an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon can face a jail term of up to four years or a fine of $10,000 or both.
This type of assault case involves any form of sexual act or touching performed on another person without the person’s consent. There are many kinds of sexual assault with varying degrees of penalty, and like other types of assault in California, this can be a felony or a misdemeanor. To be convicted of the crime, the prosecution must prove that the victim did not consent to the action.
Assault on a Public Officer
This is an assault committed against certain people who occupy public office and who are protected by statute under state law. Assaulting a public safety person carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a maximum of $2,000.
A conviction for aggravated assault on a public officer carries a penalty of up to three years in a county jail or $10,000 fine or both.
Assault of Throwing Dangerous Object at a Vehicle
It is a criminal offense to maliciously and willfully throw or project any rock, brick, bottle, metal, or other missiles, intending to cause great physical harm or serious bodily injury.
Throwing a dangerous object at a vehicle that can cause a physical injury is a felony punishable upon conviction with up to three years in prison or a $10,000 fine or both.
Should I Get a Lawyer for an Assault Charge?
If you are facing an assault charge, consult with an experienced attorney immediately for legal advice and action. It is the first thing you should do and the wisest decision you can make.
Once you are arrested for an assault, the police officers may detain and arraign you in court.
If handled carelessly, an assault charge can mar your future and you may experience heavy fines, jail time, or have a conviction on your criminal record. Unfortunately, a criminal record can affect your ability to find gainful employment or even housing.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Simple Assault Charge?
A simple assault or misdemeanor assault charge is any willful act resulting in the application of force on another person which can cause bodily harm. Don’t be fooled by the terminology. Although a misdemeanor assault charge is described as a “simple” charge, it is still a serious crime. A simple assault is a misdemeanor punishable with hefty fines and years in prison.
It is, therefore, wrong to think you do not need a lawyer when facing a simple assault charge. Just like any other criminal conviction, being found guilty of a simple assault charge can have a major impact on your future.
How an Assault Lawyer Can Help You
The state takes assault very seriously. The government will put in everything they have to prosecute and bring an offender to justice.
State prosecutors have been trained to investigate, gather evidence, and try you in court, and they see cases like yours day in and day out. Therefore, no matter how innocent you are, the cards can be stacked against you when you face a trained professional like a prosecutor.
Your best bet, therefore, is to find a defense attorney who is prepared to go head to head with the toughest prosecutors in order to present your side of the story to the court. Don’t make the mistake of going up against a prosecutor alone. Exercise your constitutional right to hire a lawyer and avoid incriminating yourself.
Qualities of a Good Assault Defense Lawyer
Having a lawyer to defend you in any criminal case is a constitutional right. But, don’t simply pick out a lawyer’s name from a local attorney listings portal, and hope for the best. Hiring the right one can make or mar your case. Do your research.
Listed below are vital qualities all criminal defense lawyers should possess. Look out for an attorney who is:
A Good Researcher—Every case is unique. And that’s why you need an excellent lawyer who possesses top-notch research skills. The attorney’s research skills will come in handy when they have to find good points of defense.
An Excellent Communicator—Good communication is at the heart of a cordial attorney-client relationship. The ability of your lawyer to communicate with you will help him/her develop effective strategies for your defense. The ability to communicate with the court and your opponents is also key in building a solid defense for you.
Experienced in Handling Assault Cases—Every good assault lawyer must have relevant experience in that niche. A lawyer with experience as a former prosecutor or who has defended assault cases in the past has an advantage over an attorney who has little or no experience.
Aggressive and Passionate—In criminal defense, being a little aggressive can be necessary! The state will bring the full force of its resources against you, so you want a defense lawyer who will be focused, dedicated, and unafraid in the face of the opposition.
A Good Negotiator—While passion is important in criminal defense, a good attorney should also know when to take advantage of negotiation. This might include a plea agreement. The bottom line should always be the interest of the client, and if negotiation will deliver that, a good defense attorney should be smart enough to accept such an offer.
Privacy—Confidentiality is the hallmark of every good lawyer, especially criminal defense attorneys. A defense lawyer must disclose no communication with a client to third parties. The ability to have a confidential relationship with your lawyer is important.
If you are looking for a law firm that embodies all of these qualities and that you can really trust with your case, reach out to the Law Office of Valery Nechay today for a free evaluation.
Common Questions for an Assault and Battery Attorney
What should I do if I am charged with Assault and Battery?
The best thing you can do when charged with assault and battery is to consult and hire an experienced battery attorney to defend you. Your attorney will listen to your side of the story, gather other evidence as needed, and then present you with a plan for how to proceed in defending you.
Be aware that an assault victim can also bring a civil lawsuit and claim damages against you. In such a case, you will need an experienced civil litigation lawyer to defend you.
What are my defenses to an assault charge?
There are several common defenses available to a person charged with assault. They include:
- No intention to commit assault
- Defense of others
- Inability to commit the assault
- The victim consented
Depending on the specifics of your case, other defense options may be reasonable as well.
Can they charge me with assault for defending myself?
Self-defense is a complete answer to an assault charge. The law allows you to use reasonable force to defend yourself or a third party from injury.
Can they charge me with assault for mistakenly assaulting a different person?
If you find yourself in a situation where you intended to assault one person, but you mistakenly assaulted another, you can still be held responsible for the assault. The onus of responsibility lies on the prosecution to prove that you had the intent to commit assault.
What should I do if I’m assaulted?
If you are a victim of assault, the best thing to do is to contact the police immediately. They should investigate the crime, file a report, and help get you medical attention if needed. The police report is important as proof that the said assault happened if you decide to pursue a claim after the attack. Apart from the police, you may also want to see a lawyer who can help you get a restraining order against the offender.
If you or your loved one is facing an assault charge, reach out to Valery Nechay Law for compassionate, experienced defense representation today.
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