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Frequently Asked Questions about Assault
Q: What is the definition of "assault"?
A: Assault is the most commonly committed violent crime in the U.S. In most states, assaults are classified as either "simple," or "aggravated." A simple assault is an attempt or a threat to commit a physical injury without using a weapon. An aggravated assault is an unlawful attack on another person, done with the intent to cause that person a severe physical injury. Typically, an assault is classified as aggravated when the assault involved use of a weapon, or something else that could cause the victim to suffer serious physical harm, or even death. There can be a conviction for aggravated assault even if the victim was not physically hurt.
Q: How is "assault" different from "battery"?
A: Traditionally, if the victim has been actually touched by the person committing the crime, then battery has occurred. If the victim has not actually been touched, but only threatened, then the crime is considered to be assault. In many states, the distinction between assault and battery has been abolished, and either type of action may be charged as an assault.
The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that, as of the end of 2001, there were approximately 5.6 million people in the United States who have served or are serving time in prison. This figure includes 1.3 million adults currently serving time, and 4.3 million former adult prisoners. Every year, there are more than 800,000 assaults reported in the U.S. If the charge against you is felony or misdemeanor assault, you should know that a conviction may stay on your record permanently. In addition to time in prison or jail, you may be prevented from getting the type of job you want after you are released. It is extremely important that a person charged with criminal assault get the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The top-ranked assault and battery lawyers at the Van Nuys, Southern California law office of Eisner Gorin LLP, are dedicated to getting the best possible outcomes for our clients. Our attorneys are former criminal trial prosecutors and State Bar Certified Criminal Trial Specialists with many years of courtroom experience. When it's time for an aggressive defense, count on Eisner Gorin LLP. Contact our office by e-mail, or call toll-free at 877-781-1570 for a prompt response.
Assault - An Overview
An assault is conduct that causes another person to reasonably believe that they are in danger of immediate harm or unwanted bodily contact. If you or someone you know has been charged with assault, it is very important that they obtain the legal representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney. There are many defenses to charges of assault, and contacting an attorney as soon as charges are filed will allow evidence to be evaluated and witnesses questioned while everything is still fresh. A skillful criminal defense lawyer can help you get through this complicated process. We need to first closely review all the details of your case in order to determine an appropriate strategy.
Assault & Battery
Assault and battery are actually two separate crimes and can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony. This frequently depends on the nature and seriousness of the injuries. Not all cases of assault and battery are clear, so it is important to contact a criminal lawyer to represent you and make sure that your legal rights are respected and you are aware of all of your options.
Assault is the threat of violence on another person, even if that person is not touched. Battery is any offensive touching of another person with the intent to cause harm. An unwanted touching, even if it does not result in pain to the other person, may still legally qualify as a battery. Fundamentally, no person has the lawful right to lay hostile or menacing hands on another. However, the law does not require people to submit meekly to the unlawful infliction of violence upon themselves. An experienced attorney can provide you with the necessary aggressive defense to charges of assault and battery in the courts.
Assault criminal charges are defined under California Penal Code 240. It's described as an attempt to commit an an injury on another person. As stated, in spite of the fact many call this offense "assault and battery," they are separate crimes under California law. It's worth noting that assault charges could be filed if there was just an attempt to use force. Battery charges are normally filed in a situation where there was actual use of force, or where violence was used against another person.
Many states have undertaken a revision of their rape and assault laws, and have created a broad set of sexually related crimes. These crimes are often referred to collectively as sexual assault, criminal sexual conduct, or sexual abuse. The chief characteristic of all of these crimes is that they prohibit doing any type of sexual act against another person's will. Generally, it is not necessary to show physical resistance on the part of the victim, only that the victim did not consent to the act. The modern trend is to make the laws against sexual assault gender neutral, so that they apply to acts done against men, as well as acts committed against women. The most serious types of sexual assaults are those committed against children, or those that involve the use of violence. Other types of sexual assault include indecent conduct in public, voyeurism, sexual imposition (sexual assault on a person who is incapacitated from drugs or alcohol, or who has a mental disability), sexual battery (sexual assault using pressure or trickery), and sexual conduct with a person too young to consent legally to the conduct. If you are accused of sexual assault, you need the services of a skilled defense attorney, who knows the ins and outs of handling a sexual assault case.
State laws regarding domestic assault have undergone many changes in recent years. Today, such charges are frequently prosecuted even where the victim refuses to press charges or recants initial clams of abuse. A good assault defense attorney will have handled many types of assault cases arising from a range of situations. The penalties for domestic assault charges can range from anger management counseling to felony charges and incarceration. If you have been arrested for domestic assault or violence, protect your rights by contacting an attorney.
Coping With the Assault Arrest of a Family Member
If someone in your family is arrested for assault, you probably aren't certain where to turn or what to do to handle the situation. Maybe you or another member of the family was the victim of the assault, which may mean you have additional issues to deal with. While a family member's arrest is a daunting situation, there are several straightforward things you can do right away to gain some information and control. Before you do anything else, however, you should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Seek out an attorney who can help guide you through the complicated maze of the justice system with compassion and honest counsel. Once you have contacted a good criminal defense lawyer, you can turn to taking care of yourself, your family, and your arrested family member, providing the support that each individual needs.