Assault and Battery Lawyer
Assault and battery have the potential to leave a lasting impact — even if the alleged victim is not seriously injured.
For example, someone held at gunpoint may experience PTSD and develop a fear of leaving their house. On the other hand, someone who is falsely accused who does not seek a skilled Los Angeles assault and battery attorney may end up facing jail time, steep fines and penalties, and a permanent stain on their reputation and employability.
Esfandi Law Group believes victims deserve the financial compensation they are entitled to as well as justice to help them rebuild their lives in the wake of assault and/or battery. We also believe that people accused of assault and battery deserve to have their stories told and their voices heard in a court of law. We work to ensure justice is served — no matter which side we are serving.
Assault and Battery in California
The state of California views assault and battery as two separate crimes.
- Penal Code 240 defines assault as “an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.” Under state law, simple assault is a misdemeanor that’s punishable by up to six months in jail and fines upwards of $1,000. Assault is when someone willfully threatens someone else with physical violence. Under California law, you don’t have to actually follow through and harm the person for the charge to stand — the threat alone will suffice in a court of law.
- Penal Code 242 defines battery as “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.” This charge will hold up even if the victim doesn’t suffer any actual pain or injury. All that’s required to be charged with battery is the touching of someone else in an offensive way. Simple battery is a misdemeanor in California that carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and fines upwards of $2,000. Battery refers to unlawful physical contact that causes injury, including sexual crimes such as rape and molestation.
Differences Between Assault and Battery in California
As we’ve mentioned, assault (240 PC) and battery (242 PC) are different charges in the Golden State, and the differences between the two confuse most people, especially since “assault and battery” is a common phrase — suggesting they are the same thing. But, under the law, they are entirely separate. The differences are:
- 240 PC assault refers to any action that might inflict physical pain, harm, or unwanted touching.
- 242 PC battery refers to the actual infliction of violence or force on somebody else.
Common Legal Defenses for Assault and Battery
When you work with a skillful Los Angeles assault and battery attorney, there are several strategies they will try to deploy in your defense against assault and/or battery charges in California, including:
Self-Defense, Defending Another
Acting in self-defense or defending someone else is a defense that applies to California battery and assault charges when all of the following are true:
- The defendant was under the reasonable belief that they or someone else was in imminent danger of being injured or touched unlawfully,
- The defendant reasonably believed the immediate use of force was required to defend against the above-mentioned danger, and
- The defended used no more force than what was reasonably required to defend against the danger.
Did Not Act Willfully
Although intending harm is not necessary, you do need to have acted “willfully” to be convicted of 242 PC battery in California. So, say the battery was a total accident. In that case, your Los Angeles assault and battery attorney can argue “accident” as your legal defense.
Since there is no requirement that the alleged victim actually was injured under 240 PC, people are often falsely accused of committing assault in California out of:
- Desire for revenge
This is another area where an experienced Los Angeles assault defense attorney will use their expertise and experience to gather the necessary evidence and interview witnesses to find out the truth of what really happened and present it to the prosecutor to bring truth and justice to light.
Los Angeles Assault and Battery Defense Attorney
If you’ve recently been arrested for, charged, or convicted of assault and/or battery, you need a Los Angeles Assault and Battery Attorney — you need Seppi Esfandi. Esfandi and his team have more than two decades of experience fighting for their clients in a wide array of assault and battery cases. Their diligent work has led to convictions being overturned and charges being dropped as well as lighter sentences and no jail time.
Call Us for a FREE Case Review: 310-274-6529
How to Win Your Case
We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:
- Don’t ever talk to the police
- Do not discuss your case with anyone
- Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
- Tell police you need to contact your attorney
- Never consent to any search by the police
- If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
- Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
- Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
- Information on your cell phone is evidence
- Early Intervention is the key