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California Penal Code Section 245 - Aggravated Assault

Aggravated Assault Arrest

Facing a serious criminal charge, such as aggravated assault, can be incredibly stressful since so much is at stake; your entire future hinges on the outcome of your case. Alone, such a trying experience may overwhelm you to the point where you are completely confused about what to do, who to turn to. Fortunately, you can always turn to an experienced Los Angles or Ventura criminal defense attorney for help.

The Ventura and Los Angeles County attorneys at the Kann California Defense Group are reputable lawyers who have earned the respect of their clients and peers over their many years of practice. They will provide you with much-needed legal counsel throughout every stage of your case and keep you informed of your options along with any new developments that may arise concerning your options. To receive the compassionate legal representation you need, call the Kann California Defense Group at (888) 744-7730.

What is Considered Aggravated Assault in California?

Unlike assault, which is defined simply as "an unlawful attempt, coupled with present ability, to commit a violent injury upon another person" (California Penal Code Section 240), aggravated assault involves a clear intent to commit serious bodily injury to another. In other words, an assault charge becomes aggravated if it is apparent that the perpetrator wanted to inflict major damage with disregard for the victim's life.

According to California Penal Code Section 245, an aggravated assault charge may also be levied against an individual if the assault was committed with a firearm or a deadly weapon of another sort.

Any crime that involves the attempt to murder, rob, kill, rape, or assault with a deadly or dangerous weapon is considered aggravated assault in all jurisdictions.

What are the Penalties for Aggravated Assault?

Aggravated assault is a "wobbler" in California, meaning it may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. A misdemeanor conviction may result in the following:

  • Probation
  • A jail sentence of up to one year
  • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • Restitution
  • Confiscation of the weapon (if it is owned by the convicted individual)
  • Possible community service and/or a mandatory Anger Management course.

A felony conviction shares many of the same penalties, except instead of a jail sentence, a longer sentence carried out in state prison may be incurred. Also, a felony counts as a "strike" under California's notorious Three Strikes Law, meaning if you have two prior "strikes" (felony convictions for serious and/or violent crimes) on your record, you may be sentenced an automatic 25-to-life.

How Can I Fight My Aggravated Assault Charges?

As it is with every other kind of criminal case, the prosecution bears the burden of proof in aggravated assault cases. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can fight your charges based on the following arguments:

  • Inability to Commit a Violent Injury – At the time of the alleged crime, you must have had not only the intent, but also the means to commit great bodily harm in order to be convicted. For example, if you had a gun and it was not loaded at the time of the incident, your attorney could argue that it was impossible for you to inflict great harm.
  • Self-Defense/Defense of Others – Everyone possesses the right to defend themselves if they perceive themselves to be in great danger. Your case could be argued on this basis if you felt the alleged victim was behaving in a threatening manner.
  • False Accusation – If there is no hard evidence or witness testimony against you, your case may be dismissed since there is only hearsay.
  • Lack of Intent – Intent implies a willful act. If you inflicted harm to another person by accident, your aggravated assault charge should be thrown out.

Who Should I Call for My Southern California Aggravated Assault Case?

At the Kann California Defense Group, we will work hard to develop a strong case for your innocence by conducting a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding your case, retaining evidence that supports your side of the story, and exploiting holes in the prosecution's argument to get the court on your side. For more information on the legal services we provide, contact us today.




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