What Should I Know If Facing an Aggravated Assault Charge in California?

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What Should I Know If Facing an Aggravated Assault Charge in California?

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Being charged with any form of violent crime can have a drastic impact on your life. However, many are unaware of the consequences they can face if charged. What you may assume was a minor scuffle at the bar can result in an aggravated assault charge, so understanding the penalties you could face if convicted is critical. Keep reading to learn about these charges and how a Sacramento felony defense lawyer can assist you during these challenging matters.

What Constitutes an Aggravated Assault Charge?

In California, an assault offense is charged to anyone who attempts with the ability to act out a violent crime. It’s important to understand that no physical contact needs to occur for someone to face an assault charge. The act of attempting to commit a violent act, like throwing a punch but missing, is enough to warrant a charge.

However, this offense becomes aggravated or more severe when the assault is directed towards a vulnerable victim, there is the use of a deadly weapon, or the attack caused severe bodily harm.

What Are the Penalties for This Offense?

In general, aggravated assault in California is considered a “wobbler” crime, as it can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor based on the circumstances of the crime. If you receive a misdemeanor charge, you can face up to one year in county jail. However, a felony aggravated assault charge can constitute up to four years in state prison.

In some instances, if you commit aggravated assault on a peace officer while using a deadly weapon, you can face a felony charge and up to five years in state prison.

Additionally, you’ll find that you can often face up to $10,000 in fines, probation, and community service when charged with aggravated assault as a misdemeanor or felony.

Are There Any Potential Defenses?

Though it may not seem possible, there are defenses you may be able to rely on if you are charged with aggravated assault in California. Generally, one of the most common claims made by those charged with this crime is that they were acting in self-defense. If you were being assaulted or feared suffering bodily harm and had reason to believe you would become a victim of a violent crime, you may be able to prove that you were acting out of self-defense.

Additionally, you may be able to prove the assault never actually occurred. For example, you may have a strong alibi to prove the person accusing you of the attack must be mistaken or lying.

Regardless, it’s imperative to connect with an experienced attorney as soon as possible if you are facing criminal charges for aggravated assault. At the Law Offices of Dale R. Gomes, our experienced attorneys will do everything possible to assist you during these challenging times. Our firm will explore all potential avenues for a defense to help fight for the best possible outcome. Connect with our team today to discuss the circumstances of your case and learn how we can help you.