Californians who are made to feel unsafe or come under attack have the right to fight back and protect themselves from harm. Defending yourself and others from imminent harm is essential to maintain your safety and the safety of those around you. Unfortunately, individuals acting in self-defense may be charged with assault despite the intentions behind their actions. However, self-defense is a valid defense against assault charges and other violent crimes.
A trusted criminal defense attorney may be able to help those who acted in self-defense face their assault charges and get back to their daily lives. At Dod Law, APC, our attorneys have 18 years of experience fighting for our clients’ rights and interests and helping them achieve favorable results for their cases. When you choose us, we will fully investigate your case and work with you to build a winning defense strategy.
Establishing Self-Defense in an Assault Case
In California, assault is defined as an unlawful attempt to inflict harm on another person coupled with the ability to inflict said harm. While self-defense is a legitimate defense against assault charges, your attorney must establish the following:
- You had a reasonable fear that the other individual would use force against you
- The other individual made a credible threat to injure or harm you
- You did not provoke or threaten to harm the other individual
- You did not have any other reasonable choice other than to use force to protect yourself
It is essential to note that even if you had a lawful reason to act in self-defense, there are restrictions on the amount of force you can legally exert. For example, if someone threatened to punch or slap you, it would be unreasonable and unlawful to use a deadly weapon to stop them. Your lawyer will work with you to understand every detail of your case and determine if self-defense is an appropriate defense for the charges against you.
Possible Penalties for Assault in California
The possible penalties for an assault charge in California vary widely depending on whether you were charged with a simple assault or a felony-level assault. A simple assault is charged as a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to six months behind bars and a fine of $1,000.
Certain aggravating factors can escalate a simple assault to a felony assault. Some aggravating factors that may escalate your charges include the following:
- Assaulting a police officer
- Committing an assault with a deadly weapon
- Committing an assault with a caustic chemical
- Committing battery and causing severe bodily injuries
Depending on the specific felony charge, convicted individuals may face up to four years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If you have been charged with an assault for acting in self-defense, the consequences are too steep to go without the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your attorney will work with you to build a strong defense and advocate aggressively for your rights and interests.
Talk to a Knowledgeable Assault Defense Attorney at Dod Law, APC
At Dod Law, APC, our attorneys have a proven track record of successfully defending our clients against their charges. We understand that there is no one-size-fits-all defense and pride ourselves on taking a personalized approach to every case. When you partner with us, your lawyer will be an aggressive advocate for justice on your behalf. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with a seasoned legal professional, call us at (619) 814-5110 or complete our contact form today.