Newport Beach Assault Attorneys

Assault in the city of Newport Beach is a wide-ranging offense. However, regardless of the nature of the assault, jail time is a real possibility.

It is recommended that you proceed with great caution if you are charged. No matter how innocent you think you are or how compelling the evidence seems against you, obtaining the right legal counsel is an important decision that can make the difference between a successful outcome and severe penalties.

If you are convicted, the immediate penalties are often outweighed by the long-term consequences of a permanent criminal record that could affect employment, education, travel or immigration status.

You should treat any assault charge in Newport Beach very seriously. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian are experienced Newport Beach assault attorneys who can protect your rights and freedoms.

Call The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian today at 855-918-4253 to discuss your case and discover your legal options.

What is an assault in Newport Beach?

Assault is defined under California Penal Code Sections 240 and 245

The fact that it features in two separate sections of the code should tell you that there are some complications to consider with assault. It is often confused with battery (or used interchangeably with it) but they are separate crimes under California law, with important differences.

In simple terms, assault is defined in Section 240:

“An assault is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.”

While an injury may occur in an assault case, it is not necessary to sustain a conviction for an assault charge. Any application of force that could have resulted in an injury to another person is enough to charge a person with assault in Newport Beach.

Contact is not necessary. An “unlawful attempt” to cause injury is all that is required. Shaking a fist or a stick at a person could lead to an assault charge.

Simple and aggravated assault: What’s the difference?

As you have seen, under CPC 240, you may be charged with simple assault if you attempt to injure a person or place them in imminent fear of bodily harm.

Like simple assault, aggravated assault does not require a physical injury to the other person but it does require a deadly weapon to be used – or any other force likely to produce great bodily injury. 

To be charged with aggravated assault, the act needs to be serious enough to have the potential to produce great bodily injury – even if no injury is suffered at all. Often, a deadly weapon such as a gun or knife is used but it could equally be fists, feet, or any other “weapon” that could cause significant bodily injury.

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During the consultation, we will help you understand your rights and the charges laid against you.

Assault and battery: What’s the difference?

Simple assault is usually charged if the person assaulted is either not injured or not significantly injured. If the complainant had a reasonable apprehension of harmful or offensive contact, it is enough.

Battery is different and the terms “assault” and “battery” should not be used interchangeably. In California, the two crimes may be related but they are separate and distinct.

Battery requires harmful or offensive contact on a victim i.e., physical contact must have occurred. Threats are not enough.

If you get angry with a friend and aggressively throw a ball at him while fooling around, this could be construed as a simple assault even if it does not cause any injury.  However, if you hit him with a baseball bat and cause bruising, the offense is far more likely to be charged as aggravated assault or battery.

Penalties for assault in Newport Beach

Assault is considered a violent offense in California even though it may not involve any physical contact or injury. As such, you should not expect leniency from the justice system. 

Your best bet is to enlist the help of an experienced assault lawyer who understands the relevant laws, is experienced in defending those accused of assault, and knows the local court system in Newport Beach.

Simple assault is usually charged as a misdemeanor in Newport Beach. Aggravated assault may be charged as a felony, especially if a gun was used in the crime.

If you are convicted of simple assault, the following penalties may apply in addition to a misdemeanor conviction showing permanently on your criminal record:

  • Up to 6 months in jail
  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • Up to 12 months of probation

If the assault is committed against a healthcare provider or public servant, expect the following:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • A fine of up to $2,000
  • A term of probation

A “wobbler” assault is an assault that is charged as a misdemeanor or felony and may lead to the following penalties:

  • 12 months, 16 months, two years, or three years in a county jail or state prison
  • A fine of up to $2,000
  • 2 years of probation

These penalties are harsh but you should never think that you do not have any options other than pleading guilty to the assault charges. 

Cases can get dismissed, evidence may be called into question, acquittals can happen at trial, and even if conviction is likely, an experienced lawyer may be able to negotiate an outcome that avoids time in jail and prevents the harshest long-term consequences.

What are the main legal defenses for assault in Newport Beach?

Being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted. 

As experienced assault attorneys, the team at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian will attempt to present the facts to the prosecutor in a way that challenges their view of the incident.   This may occur prior to the case being filed, during negotiations with the prosecutor after the charges are filed, or, if necessary, to the jury at trial.

The following are the most common legal defenses in assault cases:

1. Self-defense or the defense of others

Self-defense is one of the main defense strategies if the defendant claims that he or she was assaulted first.

Under California law, people have the legal right to use reasonable force to defend themselves from an attack. The key here is that the response to the attack must be reasonable – if excessive force was used, the self-defense argument weakens.

The defense of others may also be legitimate in assault cases. If you stepped in because someone was being assaulted or you reasonably believed that they were in imminent danger of being harmed, this may strengthen your defense against an assault charge. Again, the law only grants the right to use reasonable force.

2. Lack of intent

To achieve an assault conviction, the prosecutor must prove that you willfully attempted to injure someone.

Causing an accidental injury is not classified as an assault.  For instance, if someone pushes you into someone else, and that person is injured, the action was not willful and it should not be regarded as an assault.

3. Mistaken identity

For a defense of mistaken identity, you need a strong alibi, and/or an expert to question the quality of video surveillance if the assault was recorded.

It has happened where the wrong person is charged with a crime due to a mistaken identity but video surveillance has made this less common. However, keep in mind that your legal team only needs to raise a reasonable doubt that the accused is the person who committed the alleged crime for a not guilty verdict. The prosecutor must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to a unanimous jury.

4. False accusation

Because there is no requirement for an injury to be suffered by the alleged victim, false accusations of assault have occurred. 

Ulterior motives may cause a person to falsify or exaggerate claims – especially in highly charged, emotional, and domestic situations.

The attorneys at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian will examine all of the evidence against you and the credibility of any witnesses.

Remember, the prosecutors and law enforcement officials in Newport Beach have vast resources available to secure a conviction. This means that you need an assault attorney with vast experience and resources to properly defend yourself.

The attorneys at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian have an impressive record of defending assault cases inside and outside of the courtroom in Newport Beach and around Orange County.

Have you been charged with assault in Newport Beach?

If you or someone you care about has been charged with assault in the Newport Beach or Orange County area, The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazaryan can help. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian will build a defense strategy that targets a dismissal of your case, a reduction of the charges against you, and/or mitigates the consequences thereof. Call The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian today at 855-918-4253 to discuss your case and discover your legal options.

We have offices in Santa Ana, Westminster, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino, and serve the surrounding areas including Newport Beach and Fullerton. Our lawyers at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian are available 24/7 to help! Book a free online consultation to get started today.
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