When discussing the charge of assault and battery, chances are that violence was at issue and someone most likely was arrested or charged with committing a penal code violation. Because of this, it’s important to define what assault is and what batter is, and what a criminal defense lawyer can do to help you with these cases.
What is Assault?
The California Penal Code defense Assault as an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another. Penal Code Section 240. Therefore, notice that an assault does not require a physical contact with another person, only an attempt. An easy way to think about this is to picture someone about to throw a punch but never ultimately lands it on the other person in front of them. It should also be noted that the person committing the assault does not have to hold the specific intent to commit it. They only must have the intentional act with the knowledge of the facts sufficient to establish that by their nature they will probably and directly result in an injury to another. Garcia v. City of Merced, E.D.Cal2008, 637 F.Supp.2d 731.
While there are many forms of assault, such as assault with a deadly weapon and assault with great bodily injury, the purpose of this article is to define the charge broadly in the context of what an experienced criminal lawyer handles as cases.
Is there such a thing as an “Assault Lawyer”?
A lawyer that practices law in the criminal field and deals with assault cases can be defined as an assault lawyer. An assault lawyer must have some knowledge of the elements of the criminal charge and how those elements can be both attacked and established for purposes of securing a conviction by a court or jury panel. Additionally, an assault lawyer must have the experience in litigating the charge of assault and all of its many faceted dynamics as they apply to argument and presentation before juries.
What kind of case does an Assault Lawyer handle?
Assault can come in many forms in the criminal defense world. It can also come in many forms in the area of police brutality and government misconduct.
Cases that involve assault will usually have some form or manner of violence or at the least the appearance of violence. These kinds of cases will involved assaults against police, ordinary citizens, and sometimes one family member against another. The different faces may also include weapons that were used in committing the offense.
It should also be noted that assault cases make also include self-defense. Therefore, even though someone is charged with the crime of assault, they could have been completely protected under the law in using assault to defend against a greater threat.
Therefore, a good assault defense lawyer will know when and how to use the self-defense argument in cases when appropriate. One general way of describing the defense is that “a reasonable person in a defendant’s situation would be justified in believing they were in imminent danger or bodily harm”. People v. Jefferson, 119 Cal.App.4th 508.
The best way to find out if someone needs an lawyer is to call one that handles criminal defense cases and ask if they have experience in defending people of that charge. Make sure to ask if they are familiar with the different defenses and elements of the charge and whether they have had any success in front of jurors in making their case on behalf of their clients.
What is Battery?
According to the California Penal Code, a battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another. Cal. Pen. Code Section 242. The scary part of this charge is that “even a slight unprivileged touching is needed to satisfy the force requirement of a criminal battery. People v. Ausbie (2004) 123 Cal.App.4th 855. So where most people may think of some extreme form of violence against another, they’re standard is innaccurate. Even a brush on the shoulder or a shove would satisfy the charge.
Is There Such a Thing as a “Battery Lawyer”?
A lawyer who has experience in defending people who have been arrested or charged in committing a battery under the Penal Code and will have knowledge in attacking the elements of the offense as well as the defenses that apply to it. What also will help someone who is charge with battery is a lawyer that understands the complicated dynamics of jurors and their views on violence in general.
We must not forget that some people believe no acts of violence are justified, and that when faced with situations that scare us–we should run away or let law enforcement handle it. Unfortunately, officers cannot be everywhere at the same time. They will usually patrol high crime areas in order to deter criminal activity, but a department can only do so much in trying to predict where the next battery will be committed. Additionally, some jurors simply won’t believe that a person who was arrested and prosecuted by a professional District Attorney’s office have a valid defense if so many professionals were involved in putting on a case against them. Therefore, a good battery defense lawyer will establish the reasons why someone can be charged and prosecuted when they in fact have not committed a crime.
Defense against battery charges can be a complex endeavor and requires more than just knowledge of battery and the court system.
Examples of Battery Cases
Because battery can be charged so many different ways, one can imagine that a battery lawyer should have an understanding as to how the charge of battery can exist in multiple situations. Since there can be multiple way to prosecute a battery, a good attorney will know there are multiple ways to defend them.
In the context of mutual combat (bar fights), bully situations, domestic violence, outnumbered encounters, and similar situations, the battery lawyer has a plethora of ways of describing how a person can get into a violent situation without asking for it. Besides, in a country that values Freedom and standing up for our Rights, one will often find that jurors respect our right to defend ourselves and not be taken over by others with ill intent towards us or our loved ones. Additionally, where a person who has the right to use self-defense in an aggressive situation, you will also find that we have the right to defend another person as well. This becomes especially important when dealing with children or significant others.
In the context of wrongful arrests or illegal police conduct, a battery is usually the result of excessive force or unwarranted violence against an arrestee. A good defense lawyer will identify such conduct and know how to handle the case accordingly.
If you wish to speak with an experienced attorney an assault and battery charge, contact Bart Kaspero today for a free case evaluation.