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How Would You Define An Assault Charge?

In California, there are a few different varieties of assault. You don’t necessarily have classes, like some other states. They might have a class A or a class B, depending on the severity. However, in California, assault could be just a basic assault.

This involves you getting in somebody’s face to make him or her feel threatened like you’re going to hurt him or her. This could involve a verbal argument with criminal threats. This could be an assault with a deadly weapon in which, for example, you pull out a knife and come toward somebody.

Assault is a crime that’s usually lumped in with battery. It’s categorized with battery, but it is its own separate offense. It doesn’t require any actual touching; it just requires that the fear be felt by the other person alongside some sort of action and both an intent and an ability to carry it out.

What Is An Example of an Assault that Doesn’t Require Actual Touching?

This would involve getting in your face and pointing at you, sticking my finger in your face, yelling at you, telling you I was going to beat you up, etc. That could be classified as an assault, even though I never actually touched you.

If I am obviously upset, and I throw a rock at you but miss, that could be an assault. As long as the intent behind my action was to evoke fear in you, and I actually had the ability to carry out that action, it’s an assault.

Is There a Typical Age or Demographic for People Who Are Charged With Assault?

No, the demographic and age actually vary. In my cases, I’ve dealt with younger kids & adults, 18-year-olds, 19-year-olds, etc. I’ve also dealt with middle-aged people and even people a little bit older.

No typical demographic is charged with assault. It’s similar to DUI in that it’s open to pretty much anybody. This might partly be because it’s misunderstood as a criminal offense.

What Sort of Evidence is Utilized To Prosecute An Assault Case?

The number one thing that they usually have is an admission from the defendant. The defendant admits that they did engage in some specific action. The example I use oftentimes is that they did throw a rock or they did threaten somebody.

If there is any kind of physical evidence like the example involving the rock, the police might try to grab the rock. If there is a tool involved or something that would hold a fingerprint, they may take that in for evidence. They’ll keep it for processing.

Usually, it’s rare to find that there’s an actual weapon, unless you’re being charged with assault with the deadly weapon. Because of that, other evidence could be a victim’s testimony or any third party witness testimony. This evidence could be a statement that the defendant made to incriminate himself when the police officer was investigating.

What Sort of Injuries Can Aggravate An Assault Charge?

If this involves strictly assault, no touching is required. The severity depends on what’s involved in the incident. For example, if I’m running at you with a fist up, making it look like I’m going to punch you, this is an assault, even if I don’t actually do it. There is a difference between running up with a fist and running up with a gun. Perhaps I’m running with a gun and yelling at you to get your wallet out and give it to me. Even if I never touched you, this will be an assault charge.

One example will be assault with the deadly weapon because the gun is involved. The other example may be a simple basic assault charge, but not as severe. If we’re discussing injuries, then you enter into the battery issue, which is the enhancement of assault during which great bodily injury was likely. At this point, it’s entering the felony status, rather than a basic misdemeanor status. This will probably result in some enhancements and penalties.

Do You Ever Have Clients Who are Essentially Non-Violent in Nature Who Have Been Charged with Assault?

This is actually pretty common. Obviously, there are some exceptions, but most of the time; they don’t really have any history to suggest violent tendencies. Usually, these people are just caught up in a bad situation.

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