Torrance Assault Defense Attorney
What Is Assault?
“Assault” is an unlawful act with the intent to cause injury to someone. People often conflate assault and battery as the same thing, but California law separates the two crimes. For example, smacking a person across the face is considered battery, whereas the prosecution can charge you with assault for just threatening to strike someone without ever making contact or causing physical harm. Due to the lesser gravity of the crime, assault is the lesser of the two charges. Regardless, it is still a crime that can be a felony, and is thus vital to contact our office if you face assault charges in Torrance. We have over four decades of experience successfully defending assault cases, and we can help you stay out of jail! Call us at (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation with a highly-experienced assault lawyer in your area.
The prosecutor must prove the following elements to convict you of assault in Los Angeles County:
- Your actions could have resulted in the “application of force” on the alleged victim.
- Your actions were intentional.
- You possessed the ability to apply force.
Note: The court can find you guilty of assault even if you had no intention of touching the victim in a harmful or offensive way. If you understood that your actions could cause injury or harm, that is enough to warrant an assault conviction.
For example, you and a friend are standing side by side, and you jokingly swing your fist and pretend to punch him. If he reports this incident to the police, they can charge you with assault because your fist could have hit him, although you did not injure him and never intended to do so. However, if he stands fifteen feet away and you swing your fist in anger, there’s no possibility of your fist causing him harm, so this is not an assault.
The assault laws are complex, and the slightest misstep can lead to a guilty conviction. We offer the legal advice you need to stay out of jail. Contact Wallin & Klarich today for your free consultation.
Types of Assault
Torrance prosecutors pursue all violent crimes with the full power of the law, including assault, which is yet another reason you need a skilled assault defense lawyer as soon as possible.
In Torrance, the types of assault crimes include:
- Penal Code Section 240 – Assault
- Penal Code Section 241- Assault Against a Peace Officer
- Penal Code Section 245 – Aggravated Assault
Assault Penalties | What You’re Facing
You’ll endure serious legal penalties if you’re found guilty of assault in Torrance. Plus, any previous criminal convictions and other aggravating factors can significantly increase your sentence. The punishments for the different types of assault crimes are discussed below.
Simple Assault | PC 240
Simple assault is a misdemeanor crime in Los Angeles County. California Penal Code 240 covers the penalties for simple assault, which include:
- Maximum of six months in county jail
- Up to $1,000 fine
- Informal probation
- Batterer’s program
- Community service
Assault Against A Peace Officer | PC 241
If the alleged victim was a protected official rather than an ordinary citizen, you face an increased sentence, double the fines, and jail time for simple assault. The law protects specific individuals performing their duties, such as police, peace officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, and public safety officials. California Penal Code 241 outlines sentencing for assaulting a peace officer in Torrance, including:
- One year in the county jail
- A maximum fine of up to $2,000
- Community service
Assault With A Deadly Weapon | “Aggravated Assault” | PC 245
A conviction for assault with a deadly weapon, also referred to as aggravated assault, results in dramatically increased penalties due to the severe nature of the crime and the potential for severe injury. This crime is a “wobbler” offense, which means you could face misdemeanor or felony charges. By considering your criminal history and the details of the case, the prosecution makes the final decision but generally files felony charges for aggravated assault in most cases. This is where our attorneys can be of help. We have over 40 years of experience negotiating with prosecutors to get our clients’ charges reduced, and we can help you too.
California Penal Code 245 outlines the penalties for assault with a deadly weapon, which include:
- Two, three, or four years in state prison
- One year in county jail
- A maximum fine of $10,000
- Strike – Under California’s Three Strikes Law, aggravated assault is a strike offense. With two prior strike convictions on your record, the court could sentence you to 25 years to life in prison.
- The sentence ranges from 6 months in county jail to 12 years in state prison for using a firearm during the assault, under California Penal Code Section 245(a)(2). The type of gun used determines your sentence.
- The DMV could permanently revoke your license under Vehicle Code Section 13351.5(a) for using a car as a weapon.
Note: If you admit to using a deadly weapon, the prosecution will automatically pursue felony charges.
Professional and Personal Consequences
A jail sentence means losing your job, home, and freedom. Most importantly, you’ll miss out on time with your loved ones, and that’s time you can never replace. Once you are released, you’ll have to start all over again. But how do you find a suitable position with a damaged reputation and a permanent mark on your record? When employers and landlords see your conviction, they may write you off as a violent criminal without ever giving you a chance to prove otherwise. So, how do you support a family and pay fines on minimum wage? To avoid this struggle, you need to fight conviction like your life depends on it.
The first step to defeating assault charges is hiring a skilled criminal defense attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, we understand that many of our clients don’t have the money lying around for an attorney. But we believe everyone deserves effective legal representation, and this is why we offer payment options to ensure you have access to the solid legal representation you deserve. For over 40 years, we’ve helped clients accused of assault avoid jail time, and we’re here for you as well. Call our office today for your free consultation!
Fight Back | Possible Defenses Against Assault Charges
Don’t leave your future to chance. Preparing a strong defense is essential to your success in the courtroom. We have over 40 years of experience constructing defenses for thousands charged with assault in Torrance. Our team will investigate your case and gather solid evidence to support your side of the story. We’ve identified many legal strategies to help our clients prove their innocence. Some of the most compelling defenses for assault include:
One of the most popular defenses for assault is “self-defense” or “defense of others.” In California, every citizen has the right to defend themselves and others from immediate danger. However, without the help of a skilled attorney, proving your motivation for an assault is extremely difficult. Your attorney understands the requirements and limitations of the law. We must show you used force because it was your only choice and that anyone in your shoes would’ve done the same. We also must persuade the court to believe you used force equal to the force used against you.
For example, your drunk friend lunges at you, throwing his fists wildly. You try to push him off, but he doesn’t stop. You grab a lamp and swing it in his direction, making him back off. He trips over a table and gashes his head, but the police arrest you for assault with a deadly weapon. Our attorneys will argue that you were being attacked and grabbed the lamp because it was the closest object nearby. We’ll present evidence to show anyone would’ve done the same given the circumstances.
If defending yourself or others led to an assault charge in Torrance, contact us today, and we’ll get started on your defense immediately.
Lack Of Intent
If you did not intentionally commit the assault, a solid defense is a lack of intent. The prosecution must prove you your actions were intentional for a guilty verdict. Remember, this doesn’t mean they have to prove you intended to hurt the victim. It means you acted on purpose and knew it could hurt or offend someone.
For example, you stumble on the stairs and swing your arm out to regain your balance, and in the process, you nearly punch your neighbor in the face. Since this was an accident and not directed at the victim, we would argue lack of intent by presenting your story in a clear, convincing manner.
The Credibility Defense
The alleged victim’s credibility is key to the prosecution’s case against you. In many cases, our clients have been falsely accused of assault due to a jealous or angry accuser making up a story to get revenge. We can get your charges dismissed if we show the true motivation behind your accuser’s story. We investigate the credibility of your accuser to find any evidence the story is fabricated, such as a history of lying, text messages to others detailing their hatred of you, and witnesses who know you and your accuser. Contact Wallin & Klarich to fight false accusations of assault.
Hiring The Right Assault Defense Team | How We Can Help You
You don’t settle for an average lawyer with your future at stake. Instead, you hire an experienced attorney with the knowledge to defend you against serious charges. At Wallin & Klarich, we believe everyone deserves excellent legal representation. Choosing the right defense lawyer for your assault case requires careful consideration of many factors. Four key aspects quickly set skilled law firms apart from the rest:
- Commitment to clients
- Integrity in action
- Legal expertise
- Community respect
Our Commitment To You | The Wallin & Klarich Difference
At Wallin & Klarich, we are committed to our clients. When you trust us with your case, we never take it lightly because we understand your life’s hanging in the balance. We set aside time to go over what to expect and any new developments in your case, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Our attorneys treat you with integrity, starting with an honest, genuine conversation between us. We’re upfront with all our fees from the very beginning, and once we’ve had time to investigate your case thoroughly, we lay all your available options on the table. To ensure your questions and concerns never go unheard, we return your phone calls and emails within 24 hours and keep an on-call criminal defense lawyer for after-hours legal emergencies. Most importantly, we guarantee a judgment-free environment for you and your loved ones.
Wallin & Klarich | Unparalleled Legal Expertise
Our 40+ years of experience sets us apart from the crowd of defense lawyers. We’ve defended thousands of clients facing assault charges with remarkable success. Some of our clients came to us with nowhere else to turn and no hope of winning their case. However, our background allowed us to spot strengths in their cases, which an attorney with less experience would’ve missed.
By tailoring our defense strategies to fit the specific details of your case, we increase your chance of success. We have the added advantage of knowing the techniques of local prosecutors and the personalities of judges in Torrance. Our passion for defending the unfairly accused is the driving force behind each of our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich.
Discover how our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help you fight false accusations in Torrance, CA. Contact us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL.
Respected & Recognized | Wallin & Klarich
The community recognizes the Wallin & Klarich name for our strong values and legal expertise. For over 40 years, we’ve built our powerful reputation by maintaining our integrity, valuing our relationships with clients, and consistently striving to redefine excellence. For more insight, check out our recent and past success in the courtroom.
Our Notable Cases | Wallin & Klarich Newsworthy Legal Strategies
Many attorneys point to their experience or skill in defending assault cases, but our attorneys deliver positive results even in the most complex legal dilemmas. Over the past 40+ years, many of our legal battles have captured the media’s attention. Television, newspapers, and the digital world have covered some of our most notable moments. We encourage you to explore our newsworthy cases below to learn more about our law firm.