Van Nuys Assault Lawyers
Fearless Advocates in the San Fernando Valley
Typical assault convictions in the state of California result in a fine of $1,000 or less and possibly up to 6 months in jail. For some, this can be a disproportionate penalty for something that was likely an accident or an argument that got out of hand.
Give yourself the best chance of a favorable outcome in court. Choose a team of Van Nuys assault lawyers who will work with you to disprove or argue down your assault charges.
Understanding Assault Charges
An assault is an illegal attempt to do violent injury to another person. The word “attempt” here means that even if the person did not receive a lasting injury, or was not injured at all, it is still possible to be charged with assault.
In a criminal assault case, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did attempt to inflict a violent injury. Remember, the burden of proof rests on the other side, but this doesn’t mean that the defense’s job is easy.
An assault does not have to be premeditated. For example, if fans of two opposing football teams were to get into a heated argument after a game and one pushed or punched the other, the injured person could bring assault charges, even if the aggressor did not begin the conversation angry or intending to fight.
It’s possible to defend against assault charges based on the following arguments:
- The injury was the result of an accident and not intentional.
- The alleged offender was defending him or herself, or someone else.
- The alleged offender was defending their home or property.
- Some other factor caused the offender to be unaware of what they were doing or not responsible for their actions (e.g. duress)
More Serious Assault Charges
If you picked a fight with the wrong person at the wrong time, you might be facing more serious consequences. Assault attempts against a parking control officer, peace officer, firefighter, or one of several other public servants working in any official capacity result in a fine of up to $2,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 1 year.
Committing an assault on school or park property also results in doubling the maximum fine and prison sentence.
Contact a Van Nuys Assault Attorney Today
We know you want to avoid excessive penalties for assault charges, especially if the charges were the result of an incident you never meant to happen or where temper got the better of you. For help handling your assault charges, contact Williams And Seemen.
Our Van Nuys assault attorneys bring a combined 25 years of experience and a special emphasis on criminal defense. We strive to make our clients feel like a member of the team as we work toward a satisfactory conclusion to the case.
Reach out to us at (818) 536-7776 and ask us about a free consultation on your assault case.
How do I bail out of jail?
Once arrested and jailed, there is a process allowing the person arrested to get released from jail. The accused may be released from jail for exchange of money–hence BAIL. A promise of property also works as a promise you will return to Court for all hearings. You cannot miss a court date when released on bail. If you make all court dates your bail is refunded to you whether you are found innocent or guilty. The bail amount depends on the jurisdiction where you are arrested and the Judge. Other factors that decide how large the bail amount is is the seriousness of the crime, your record and previous or current bench warrants. A judge can also release the accused without the requirement of posting bail–called being released on your own recognizance (“OR.”) If you cannot afford bail–or have no property to post, you can hire a bail bonds agent. A bonds agent promises to pay the full amount of bail to the court if you do not show up to Court, thus the bonds agent will have to find someone responsible for paying any costs they have to incur to track you down. In exchange for posting the full bond, the bonds agent will ask you to pay about eight to ten percent of your bond which is NONREFUNDABLE. So why hire a bonds agent? Because you can get out of jail for far less then paying the full bail amount. Your attorney will have a trusted bonds agent, so do not forget to contact your attorney if you are interested in bonding out of jail.
I have my first court appearance--what should I expect?
The first Court date is called the arraignment. That is where an accused will enter a plea (not guilty, guilty or no contest), bail and release can be determined, and a future court date is set: either a pretrial or in a felony case, the preliminary hearing. You will also be advised of your Constitutional rights and know your specific charges. In most misdemeanor cases, your attorney can make the appearance on your behalf without you having to be present. If you are charged with a felony, there are essentially two arraignment hearings –one occurs at the very start of your case. The second occurs after the preliminary hearing. If you are in custody, you MUST be arraigned within 48 hours (not including weekends or holidays). Once you enter a plea of not guilty, you have the right to a speedy trial. In a misdemeanor trial, a speedy trial must be done within 45 days unless your defense requests a delay. If you are in custody, the trial must be done within 30 days, unless your defense requests a delay. In a felony case, you have the right to a preliminary hearing within 10 days of your arraignment. After your preliminary hearing, you also have an “Information Arraignment,” in which case you have the right to trial within 60 days of this second arraignment.
So what is a preliminary hearing?
The DA presents evidence and witnesses to the alleged crime–and the standard to determine if there is enough evidence to justify holding the defendant to answer for the alleged crime. The Defense has the opportunity to cross examine all witnesses and even call their own witnesses. By the end of the hearing the Judge must determine if there is enough evidence to allow the case to enter the next stage of the proceeding (information arraignment) before the matter is set for trial. If there is insufficient evidence presented at the preliminary hearing, the Judge will dismiss the case.