Anaheim Assault & Battery Lawyer

Hire a Firm That Has Handled 2,500+ Criminal Cases

Assault and battery are two separate offenses—you can be charged with either one or both. Furthermore, depending on the severity of the allegations, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. If you have been accused of either assault or battery, it is essential to retain a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who can effectively represent you. At The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs, we are dedicated to defending the rights of the accused, and we are prepared to fight for you.

Since 1983, Barney Gibbs has served as a full-time criminal lawyer in Orange County. He has represented clients in over 2,500 cases, including many assault and battery cases. This firm can use its experience with the local court systems to your advantage, as we have an insight into the strengths and weaknesses of prosecutors and judges that many other lawyers do not. Mr. Gibbs familiarity with the law and local courts is a significant factor in his ability to successfully represent criminal defense cases.

What is the difference between assault and battery?

According to California Penal Code § 240-248, battery is willful and unlawful use of force or violence on another. Assault is an unlawful attempt, with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on another. This means you can be charged with battery for spitting on someone, pouring a drink on them, or even hitting them with a pillow, as long as the physical contact with your accuser was violent, offensive, or painful. In fact, you can be convicted of battery even if you did not injure or harm the victim.

You do not need to make physical contact with your accuser to be convicted of assault. This charge is defined by an action that causes another person to reasonably fear bodily harm. However, an intent to injure must also exist for an assault conviction. For example, a person might be afraid of another individual carrying a bat, but he or she may have had no intention of using the bat to cause harm. Thus, it is not uncommon for misinterpretations or misunderstandings to result in false accusations.

The Penalties for Assault and Battery in California

In California, the penalties for simple assault or battery include up to six months in jail. You may also be fined up to $1,000 ($2,000 for battery), put on probation, and sentenced to community service. If you caused serious bodily injury or used force likely to cause serious injury, you may be charged with aggravated battery. This charge is a potential felony that may result in a prison sentence of up to four years, a fine of up to $10,000, and an order to pay restitution to the victim.

Under California Penal Code § 41.2, assault committed on school or park property carries a maximum penalty of $2,000 in fines and up to one year in jail. If you have ever been convicted of a felony and are facing a second felony charge for assault or battery, your sentence will automatically carry twice the punishment of your first offense. Furthermore, two prior felony convictions may result in a minor, nonviolent confrontation becoming a felony charge instead of a misdemeanor.

You should also know that, under California's Three Strikes Law, if you are convicted of your third violent felony offense, you could face a prison sentence of 25 years to life.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon – Penal Code 245(a)(1)

Assault with a deadly weapon charges differ from simple assault cases because it is an assault committed with a deadly weapon, or any type of object that is not part of one's body. California's Penal Code 245(a)(1) defines a "deadly weapon" as an object that is capable of producing great bodily harm, injury, or even death—which means that an actual weapon does not need to be used. In fact, household objects could qualify as a deadly weapon if they are used in a way that could result in extreme harm.

Examples of this could include hitting someone with a baseball, or even stepping on another person while wearing steel-toed boots. Since California law upholds no requirement that the alleged victim actually sustain any injury, many innocent people are wrongfully accused of assault with a deadly weapon. Assault with a deadly weapon can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. The severity of the penalties depends on certain circumstances. Factors that will be taken into consideration include:

  • The type of weapon that was used
  • How the weapon was used
  • The severity of the victim's injuries

Depending on these circumstances, misdemeanor penalties could include up to one year in county jail. You could also be fined up to $10,000, ordered to pay victim restitution and sentenced to community service. Felony penalties could include up to four years in state prison. You could also be fined up to $10,000, ordered to pay restitution to the victim and receive a "strike" on your record. For this reason, you will need a strong defense attorney on your side if you have been charged with this crime.

What if I was acting in self-defense?

In certain cases, your assault or battery charge may have been a result of a confrontation in which you were simply defending yourself, protecting someone else, or recovering stolen or invaded property. In these instances, you may be able to establish that you were acting in self-defense.

Some of the elements of a self-defense case include:

  • You were under threat of harm
  • You reasonably feared harm to yourself
  • You did not provoke the confrontation
  • Escape or retreat was not reasonably possible

Additionally, we can fight the severity of the charge or sentence based on the seriousness of any harm or injury caused. Furthermore, we also understand that an accuser may be exaggerating or misrepresenting the situation and can fight to ensure that you are not wrongfully accused of a crime you did not commit.

Contact Our Office 24/7 for Aggressive Representation

With 30 years of experience, Anaheim Defense Attorney Barney Gibbs understands how fearful or scared you might be as you face an assault or battery charge. Just because you have been arrested with an assault with a deadly weapon charge does not make the charge true. While there may be evidence against you, our firm can help defend you against aggressive prosecutors and create a strong defense on your behalf.

At The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs, we are dedicated to defending the rights of our clients. We know that not all situations are black and white and want to help ensure that your voice is heard. Mr. Gibbs has worked closely with the local courts in Orange County and can provide you with the aggressive defense that you deserve. He is available to you 24/7 and sets aside time each day to answer your questions.

Call us for a free consultation to begin building your defense!