Two of the most common crimes in San Diego are assault and battery. While the two crimes are often charged together and many people use them interchangeably in conversation, they are, in fact, two distinct crimes. If you have been accused of either assault or battery, please call a San Diego violent crimes lawyer as soon as possible.
Of the two charges, assault is the less serious as it only refers to the threat of violence paired with an ability to injure someone. For example, if someone approaches a drunk at a bar and threatens to stab him, that is assault. If he brandishes a knife to make his threat more intimidating, that would be assault with a deadly weapon. Threatening to stab someone may also be a far more serious crime of making a criminal threat.
On the other hand, if a person who is mostly paralyzed lays in a hospital bed and threatens to beat his doctor within an inch of his life, the threat cannot be considered assault because the injured person making the threat does not have the ability to injure the doctor.
When someone actually uses force or violence on someone, they have committed battery. If they threatened the person first, the crime will be assault and battery, otherwise they will only face battery charges. If a person attempts to throw a punch but misses, this is also considered assault. You could even be charged with assaulting your intended victim and battering another if you threw a punch and missed the person you were trying to hit. As you can see, assault and battery charges can be rather complex, even if they are common, which is why it is so important to always work with a top San Diego defense attorney if you have been charged with assault, battery or both.
In many cases, these types of cases come down between the victim’s account of what happened and the defendant’s because the police generally do not arrive until after the crime has already occurred. A San Diego criminal attorney can be critical in these cases by helping show that the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove your guilt.
If you have been accused of assault or battery, please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free initial consultation with San Diego defense lawyer Peter M. Liss.
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