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How to Contest an Assault Charge in California

An assault is a violent crime. It may involve threatening or attempting to cause serious physical injury or even the act of causing bodily harm or unwanted physical contact on another individual. This may range from touching or stalking to sexual assault or harassment. In some instances, endangerment of human life involves intentional assault with the use of a dangerous weapon.

A simple assault may be aggravated depending on the severity of the criminal violation. If the perpetrator, for example, assaulted a police officer, firefighter, or law enforcement officer, the charges of assault may be raised into a felony offense. The same goes for purposely committing assault with a weapon or firearm causing bodily harm to another. These are some of the aggravating factors that can turn a misdemeanor into a felony charge.

An assault does not have to lead to physical harm, but it is nevertheless taken very seriously in the state of California. The prosecutors think you intentionally tried to cause bodily injury to someone else if you have been charged with assault. However, the prosecutor should be able to prove that the accused perpetrator knowingly did something that could lead to serious bodily harm. In a crime of assault, it must be proven that a reasonable person was aware of his or her conduct. The prosecution may also show that the offender had the opportunity to make physical contact with the alleged victim at the time of the assault.

There are many grounds for defense since the prosecutor must prove a variety of factors to obtain a conviction. If you have been charged with a criminal offense involving assault, call our experienced Sacramento criminal defense lawyers right away.

There are potential defense strategies that can be used against the criminal charges against you. These are:


Assault Charge

The fact that the defendant reacted in self-defense could be a powerful claim against an assault charge. The defendant may have assumed that his actions were appropriate to prevent being injured or killed at the time of the assault.

Self-defense could be an option if the defendant and his criminal defense lawyer can prove that there is good reason to assume that the former is in danger. It must be proven that the defendant had a reasonable fear of being touched or injured and physical force was required to prevent the attack.  The defendant only used the required amount of force to protect himself from the current threat.

Protecting another individual

In addition to defending oneself, an individual is entitled by law to act in defense of another. This may be a spouse, family member, acquaintance, or a stranger in the same circumstance as the defendant. The situations that the defendant would have to claim are close to what he would show a jury or judge in a self-defense case.

It must be proven that the defendant had a reasonable suspicion that another individual was being threatened, unlawfully hurt, or placed in imminent danger. Also, it should be proven that the defendant reasonably believed that an immediate physical force is needed to protect another individual and that he or she only used a required amount of force to protect another from danger.

Protecting personal property

In California, you can protect your properties (including real estate and personal assets, such as your money and automobile). This is a form of self-defense. A defense attorney will work to explain that the defendant had a rational suspicion that his or her property is at risk from robbery or burglary. To protect his or her properties, the defendant needed to use a fair amount of physical force.


Many situations exist where you and another individual are engaging in consensual actions that others may misunderstand as an act of violence. For example, a public theater performance might be mistaken for real combat. It is possible that a private sexual encounter will be regretted later or that one participant will think that the other went too far. If you think you had permission to behave as you did, regardless of the circumstance, this may be a defense to the allegations.

Mistakenly Identified

The defendant could be charged with assault because the prosecutors are not looking for the right person. When the accused offender was not present during the trial, he might have been named by unreliable witnesses. This is an example of a criminal case of mistaken identity. With the help of a criminal defense attorney, you may avoid the fines and penalties of assaulting and inflicting great bodily harm.

How to deal with assault charges

If you have been falsely accused of assault, seek legal help from experienced assault lawyers immediately. The most successful defense strategies against assault charges would be decided by your particular situation and criminal record. Criminal defense attorneys will fight for you and develop a comprehensive legal defense plan to achieve the best possible result for your case. Our Sacramento criminal defense lawyers will help in reducing the charges, proving your innocence, or if possible, minimizing the effects of the conviction.

Protect your legal rights. Contact our Sacramento criminal defense lawyers at Chastaine Jones Criminal Defense Attorneys for a free consultation.

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