Defending yourself against a criminal charge can be difficult in any circumstances. While the Constitution requires that the State furnish an attorney to people who cannot afford private counsel, sharing a public defender with scores of other defendants is a last resort, at best. Since so much is at stake in a criminal case, you should hire a private attorney who will be able to devote an adequate amount of time to your defense. San Bernardino and Riverside County assault defense lawyer Gregory H. Comings devotes his legal practice exclusively to the defense of the criminally accused. With over 100 felony trials under his belt, Attorney Comings has over a decade of experience representing people who have been charged with serious crimes, including defendants who have been accused of aggravated assault, assault causing great bodily injury, or assault with a weapon.
Under California law, there are several degrees of the crime of assault. Simply defined, an assault takes place when one person does something that is likely to result in the use of force against another individual. The difference between an assault and a battery is that, with a battery, the defendant actually makes unwelcome physical contact with the victim, but, in an assault, no actual contact occurs. Thus, it may be said that an assault is an attempt to commit the crime of battery. California Penal Code § 240 defines the crime of assault as “an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.” The difference between a simple assault and an aggravated assault is that, in an aggravated assault, the defendant intends to cause a serious bodily injury to another person. Under California Penal Code § 245, aggravated assault also occurs when a firearm or deadly weapon is wielded by the defendant against another person.
If a defendant has been formally charged with a crime and arraigned in court, their attorney may be able to file a motion to exclude certain evidence that the State seeks to use against them at trial. In some instances, the Constitution may have been violated during the investigation or arrest of the defendant. Evidence gathered during a time in which police acted without regard to the defendant’s rights to be free from unlawful searches and seizures and to refrain from self-incrimination may be excluded from the consideration of the jury. Since the State has the burden of proof in a criminal case, the exclusion of important evidence can go a long way toward helping the defendant secure a reduction in charges or even the dismissal of the case against them.
Aggravated assault is a wobbler offense in California, which means that it can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the circumstances. Either way, it can result in incarceration, fines, restitution, community service, probation, and other penalties. Additionally, an assault conviction on one’s record can make it difficult to find employment in the years to come. This is true even for a first-time assault. A criminal record can have other negative consequences as well, especially if the offender is convicted of a felony. Convicted felons lose some of their civil rights, including the right to own a gun or hold public office.
The outcome of a criminal proceeding can have lifelong effects, so it is critical that a person accused of a crime defend himself or herself as zealously as possible. At The Law Office of Gregory H.Comings, we take an aggressive stance when defending a client accused of a criminal offense like aggravated assault or battery, investigating the case carefully to identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s arguments. To schedule an appointment to learn more about how Attorney Gregory Comings can help protect your legal rights in Riverside or San Bernardino County, call us now at (951) 686-3457 or complete our online form.