Newport Beach Assault Lawyer
Newport Beach is a safe community, but people anywhere can get into a heated argument and get carried away, especially if there has been alcohol involved. Sometimes these arguments can cause allegations of assault, even if there has been no physical contact. No matter what the situation, the Newport Beach assault lawyer at the Johnson Criminal Law Group is experienced in defending assault charges in California courts.
Penal Code section 240 in California defines assault as an unlawful attempt, coupled with the present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another. People often confuse assault with the separate, but often related, crime of battery, which is the actual unwanted physical contact. The charge of battery could range from a beating that results in serious bodily injury to simply touching someone in an offensive manner. As long as it involved willful offensive physical contact, it can be considered battery. On the other hand, assault is a crime which doesn’t require physical contact or injury. The key difference between your average heated argument and assault is the likelihood of resulting to the application of force in that moment. When the assault involves a deadly weapon, this can escalate the consequences and penalties for the crime. Assault with a deadly weapon is when the act of assault happens in addition to the use of a weapon that could cause serious bodily harm, such as a knife or a gun. However, the definition of a deadly weapon does not just include weapons that are widely regarded as dangerous and lethal. Practically anything can be considered a deadly weapon as long as they have the potential to cause great injury and damage. There are also other types of assault that are considered to be more severe, such as if it is inflicted upon a public official or if it involves the use of chemicals. Assault on a public official is defined as committing assault against a public official or a member of their immediate family in relation to their duties. An example of assault with a caustic chemical would be if someone were to willfully put a caustic chemical onto someone else with the intent to disfigure them.
There are various defenses to the crime of assault that can be effective when used properly before a jury. Newport Beach assault lawyers know, for example, that the law allows you to defend yourself in an altercation with another person. Another common defense to assault is consent, in other words a crime cannot be committed if the other person is expecting physical contact.
Other possible defenses that could be used when wrongfully charged with an assault case would be that you only acted the way you did because you were reasonably fearful of injury or being offensively and willfully touched and that the force was needed in order to defend against the other party.