Santa Monica Assault Attorney

Charged with assault?

Assault, under California Penal Code 240, is a misdemeanor defined as the attempt to use force or violence with the intent to hurt or injure. Also called a simple assault, it does not result in physical injury. Assault cases can be harder to determine as the offender has to be willful and aware that his or her actions could result in bodily injury, and physically capable of using force or violence against another. The prosecution must prove that the intention to hurt was indeed present, as to be convicted of an assault only implies the intent to injure, and not actually injure. An aggravated assault, on the other hand, implies the use of a deadly weapon or a weapon that could produce significant bodily injury, and that could or did result in serious physical injury. It is also known as assault with a deadly weapon under Penal Code 245.

To be charged with assault is a grave offense that can lead to rigid penalties. At Lessem & Newstat, a Santa Monica criminal defense attorney is ready to give you solid legal advice and take action to protect your liberties. One of our lead attorneys, Joshua Newstat, is president of the Ventura County Criminal Defense Bar Association and has hundreds of dismissals under his belt. Our experience and knowledge in assault cases and criminal defense is undeniable and we can strive to serve your best interests.

Assault Penalties in California

If convicted of an assault, there are various penalties one could face depending of the severity of the actions and potential danger incurred:

  • Fines of up to $1,000
  • Community service
  • Completion of batterer's program
  • Up to six months in county jail
  • California misdemeanor probation (up to three years)

An aggravated assault will lead to harsher consequences, such as a state prison sentence. If the assault was directed towards a police officer or protected person it can also lead to larger penalties. Defenses for assault can include self-defense, the inability to have carried-out the assault, false charges or wrongful accusations, and lack of intent. Our firm is capable of building an unyielding defense that will help protect your rights in Santa Monica, Malibu, Westwood, and Venice.

Contact a Santa Monica assault lawyer now if you were charged with assault.