Any legal issue that involves assault charges needs to be handled very carefully because the consequences of conviction can be severe and life-altering. This is why the first thing the accused does after being arrested by the police officer must be to ask for their criminal defense lawyer. Legal representation in such cases may be the only way to avoid spending time in county jail and the sooner one begins to prepare for the case the better the chances of success. Having a reliable, trustworthy, and experienced Sacramento criminal defense attorney in one's corner can be all the difference between becoming a convicted felon or walking out of court with one's freedom. When in need of a good Sacramento assault attorney, one of the most highly-rated Law firms in California is Goss Law. With years of experience handling both assault and battery charges, Goss Law should be the first name on anyone's list when facing the possibility of jail time.
Highly Rated California Lawyer
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What Is Assault?
Assault can best be described as a criminal offense that involves either the use of or threat of physical violence against another individual.
It is important to note that actual physical harm or even physical contact is not necessary for assault charges to be brought against a person.
In many such legal issues, the defendant often tries to plead innocence based on the fact that the victim was not harmed in any way.
However, this type of defense will not work because all that is required for one to be convicted is for the prosecutor to prove any of the following:
The accused committed the act willfully
There was a reasonable threat of violence
Actual violence or physical contact was committed
The accused was not acting out of self-defense
The complexity of the definition of assault as well as the often conflicting accounts of what happened means that it is in the best interest of the accused to seek legal help from an experienced Sacramento criminal assault lawyer as soon as possible.
Difference Between Assault and Battery
Many states consider assault and battery to be the same thing but that is not the case in California. The intent to cause harm is the common factor in both charges.
In the case of assault, physical contact does not need to be proven, while this is a requirement for battery charges. Both are serious charges that require the best defense lawyers to handle them.
However, there are different levels of assault charges depending on the severity of the attack.
The following are the two common types of assault that a Sacramento criminal defense lawyer usually deals with:
Misdemeanor Assault (Simple Assault)
In the case of a simple assault, it is regarded as a misdemeanor assault because the victim did not suffer any physical harm but the threat was present.
A prosecutor will need to show that besides the willful intent to cause harm to the victim, the accused also could follow through on their intentions.
Even when no harm occurred, a misdemeanor assault conviction has serious penalties.
Felony Assault (Aggravated Assault)
When actual harm occurs then the simple assault charges will be elevated to aggravated assault, which is a felony.
In cases of assault with a deadly weapon, the accused can be convicted of aggravated assault for simply having the weapon, such as a firearm, during the assault.
Felony assault carries very stiff penalties, especially if the circumstances of the case cause is to be elevated to the federal level, in which case a team of super lawyers will be urgently required to resolve the legal issues.
Penalties for an Assault Conviction
The penalties that the accused will face if found guilty of either simple assault or felony assault vary depending on the severity of the attack and whether or not a deadly weapon was used.
In general, if convicted of assault, one faces any of the following penalties:
Up to six months in county jail for assault
Up to one year in jail for aggravated (felony) assault
Completion of a batterers program
How Can a Sacramento Criminal Defense Attorney Help?
From the moment one is arrested by a police officer on assault charges, it is important to contact a reliable Sacramento criminal law office and seek legal help as soon as possible.
A good criminal defense lawyer can help with the following:
Case Review During a Free Consultation
Any reputable criminal defense law office in Sacramento, CA will offer all its prospective clients a free case evaluation where they can discuss their legal options, the evidence against them, and the possible penalties they may face.
Negotiating With the District Attorney
Many simple assault cases are handled long before being brought in front of a jury because of the negotiating skills of the Sacramento criminal defense attorney.
It is here that a good lawyer can negotiate the following on behalf of their client:
Having the charges reduced, for example, from serving up to six months in jail to just community service
Asking for the charges to be dropped due to insufficient evidence
Negotiating a plea bargain
Offering compensation to the victims
Fighting the Case in a Sacramento Court
When there is no other option but to go to court, the assault lawyer will fight for the rights of their client to achieve the best possible outcome in the circumstances.
Criminal Record Expungement
If the offender is found guilty and sentenced, a criminal defense attorney can also assist with having their criminal record expunged after completion of the sentence and probation.
Choose an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
When choosing the best Sacramento criminal assault lawyer, look out for the following attributes:
Knowledge of California criminal defense law
Free case evaluation to discuss the various legal options available to the accused and the best possible outcome
Experience with assault criminal charges and related practice areas
Good attorney-client relationship
Great negotiating skills
Need a Reliable Criminal Defense Lawyer? Call Goss Law Office!
If one is facing charges of assault, there is no time to waste because the consequences of delaying can be severe.
Goss Law has a team of legal experts with many years of experience handling cases similar to this and will provide defendants the best chances of walking out of court with their freedom and criminal record both intact.