Assault & Battery
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    Assault & Battery Defense Attorney in San Diego

    Assault and Battery are serious criminal offenses and can carry heavy consequences, including substantial fines and prison time. If you have been charged with assault, battery, or any other criminal offense, give us a call to begin building your criminal defense strategy. We’ve helped hundreds of clients fight their cases resulting in acquittal, dismissal, or reduced charges. Schedule your free consultation today.

    If you or a loved one is facing assault and battery charges, we are here to help. Give our assault and battery defense attorneys a call today to find out how we can protect your rights. 

    Assault vs. Battery Charges and the Law

    Many people think that assault and battery are interchangeable, but they are actually two separate crimes. Assault is the attempt to use force or violence on another person, whereas battery is the actual use of force or violence upon another. Assault is often considered an “attempted battery” whereas battery requires actual contact. For example, if you were to hit someone, swinging your fist is the act of assault, whereas actually hitting that person is the act of battery. You can be charged with assault and/or battery even if the alleged victim suffered no harm or injuries, so long as you touched them in any offensive way.

    Many times you will be charged with both assault and battery. It is important to note that you can be charged with assault even if you don’t commit battery. Conversely, you can be charged with battery and not assault. The potential custody time and fines associated with assault and battery charges vary depending on the type of conduct and injuries involved. Every assault and battery case is unique depending on the circumstances and complexity of the case. It is important to hire an attorney with knowledge of assault/battery laws and experience defending against these types of charges when looking for the right attorney for your case.

    What Are Wobblers and Why Is It Serious?

    In California, a wobbler is a crime that can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor, and it applies to certain assault and battery charges. While simple assault and battery are misdemeanors, other related charges like aggravated assault are wobblers. The prosecutor will decide whether to charge a wobbler offense as a felony or misdemeanor. Assault or battery charges that involve great bodily injury are more likely charged as a felony. 

    Assault Charges

    There are varying degrees of assault recognized under California law. Here are some common assault charges you could receive depending on the circumstances of the alleged criminal conduct:

    Simple Assault - Penal Code § 240

    Simple assault is described in California Penal Code § 240 and is defined as an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another. A simple assault is when you intend to apply force to a person, as outlined above, but this force is not intended to cause serious bodily harm. Simple assault is a misdemeanor offense, and the penalty can be up to six months in county jail and a fine of $1,000. 

    Aggravated Assault - Penal Code § 245

    Aggravated assault is a more severe charge and involves cases in which the potential to cause physical harm is perceived to be greater. California Penal Code § 245 defines circumstances where aggravated assault is applicable. Some of these circumstances include assault with a deadly weapon, assault with a firearm, or an assault by means most likely to cause extensive injury. 

    Aggravated assault is considered a wobbler offense, meaning that it could be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. If charged as a misdemeanor, you may face up to a year in county jail. If charged as a felony, you may face up to twelve years in state prison. 

    Assault with a Deadly Weapon - Penal Code § 245(a)(1)

    Assault with a deadly weapon (ADW) is a type of aggravated assault in which a person is accused of unlawfully attempting to hurt or injure another person by using a deadly weapon or by using force likely to cause great bodily injury. California Penal Code § 245(a)(1) describes violators of this section as any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm. There are separate penalties for ADW crimes that involve firearms, which are described in the section below.  

    ADW charges in this section result from assault of another person with a deadly weapon, other than a firearm. Deadly weapons include any type of weapon or object that can be used in a manner capable of producing death or great bodily injury. Great bodily injury means something greater than minor harm that results in significant or substantial physical injuries. Deadly weapons can include things such as knives or baseball bats that can be used to kill another person. Deadly weapons can also include objects that are not necessarily intended to be a weapon but can still be used to kill another person, such as a hammer, sharp glass, a car, your foot, or even a dog.

    Assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm is a wobbler offense. Depending on the circumstances of the case, such charges can result in a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to a year in county jail and a $1,000 fine or in a felony offense punishable by up to four years in state prison and a fine of $10,000.

    Assault with a Firearm - Penal Code § 245(a)(2)-(3)

    Assault with a deadly weapon charges involving firearms are treated more severely under California law. If the assault was committed with a firearm such as a revolver or a pistol, then the offense is a wobbler and will carry a minimum stipulation of six-months jail time. If charged as a misdemeanor this offense is punishable by up to one year in county jail and a fine of $1,000. If charged as a felony, it is punishable by up to four years in state prison and a fine of $10,000.

    If the assault was committed with a semiautomatic firearm, a machinegun, a .50 BMG rifle, or an assault weapon, then the offense is charged as a straight felony and carries a punishment of up to twelve years in state prison and a fine of $10,000. Like with any firearm conviction, an assault with a firearm conviction will jeopardize a person’s right to own or purchase firearms. It can also be used to increase penalties on future convictions.

    Battery Charges

    You may be charged with battery and assault at the same time if you are accused of making physical contact with the alleged victim or you are accused of using a weapon that resulted in bodily harm.

    Battery is commonly referred to as a “completed assault.” It results from touching another or making contact with them in a manner deemed harmful or offensive. It can also result from making contact with an object that is close to a person. For example, throwing a rock at somebody’s windshield while they are driving could be charged as a battery due to the close proximity of the object to the alleged victim. Below are some of the charges and penalties related to battery:

    Simple Battery - Penal Code § 242

    Simple battery is described in California Penal Code § 242 and is defined as any willful or unlawful use of force or violence upon another person. Simple battery can be charged if a person touches another person in any harmful or offensive way, even if the victim does not suffer pain or injury. Similar to simple assault, simple battery is a misdemeanor offense and carries a penalty of up to six months in county jail and a fine of $2,000.

    Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury - Penal Code § 243(d)

    Battery causing serious bodily injury is a more serious offense and implies that your actions caused severe physical harm to the alleged victim. Serious bodily injury is defined as a serious impairment of physical condition, including, but not limited to the following: loss of consciousness; concussion; bone fracture; protracted loss or impairment of function of any bodily member or organ; a wound requiring extensive suturing; and serious disfigurement.

    Battery causing serious bodily injury is a wobbler offense and can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances of the case. If charged as a misdemeanor, this offense carries a sentence of up to a year in county jail and if charged as a felony, a sentence of up to four years in state prison. It is important to note that battery causing serious bodily injury counts as a strike offense and will be used to increase penalties on any future convictions.

    Protected Groups

    When facing assault and/or battery charges there are special considerations for certain protected groups of people that may result in increased penalties. If you are convicted of assault and/or battery against these groups, you can expect to face larger fines and longer periods of incarceration. These groups include:

    • First responders, including police officers, EMTs, lifeguards, and firefighters
    • Public officials such as politicians, judges, and elected officials
    • Instances of domestic violence against a partner, spouse, or family member
    • People above the age of 65
    • Cases that involve sexual assault or battery

    The prosecution must be able to prove that you knew or reasonably should have known that you were committing assault or battery against a person in one of these protected groups.

    Assault/battery not causing injury to a person in a protected group is a misdemeanor offense and carries a penalty of up to one year in county jail and a $2,000 fine. Assault or battery that results in injury to a person in a protected group, on the other hand, is a wobbler offense and can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. If charged as a felony it can result in a sentence of up to three years in state prison and a fine of $10,000.

    In any case of assault or battery, it’s critical to call a defense lawyer to protect your interests and position yourself to achieve the best outcome for your case. 

    Defending Against Assault & Battery Charges

    At the Law Offices of David Silldorf, we have helped hundreds of defendants receive favorable outcomes in their cases. Our team is passionate about defending your rights and will fight for you every step of the way. 

    Every case is different, and no attorney can guarantee an outcome, but we always try to see if we can:

    • Get your case dismissed
    • Get your charges reduced
    • Have your case tried as a misdemeanor
    • Have the court grant diversion
    • Identify a legal excuse for your actions, such as self-defense or defense of another
    • Prove that you did not act willfully or have knowledge that your actions would apply force

    All of these potential outcomes can minimize or eliminate the consequences you face and help to avoid a conviction. 

    When to Call an Assault/Battery Defense Lawyer

    If you have been charged with any type of assault and/or battery it is essential to call an experienced defense lawyer as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of David Silldorf, we will fight for you and protect your rights in an effort to achieve the best outcome for your case. No matter what the charges levied against you are, you have the right to legal representation before speaking to anyone, including the police.

    When you work with the Law Offices of David Silldorf, you get peace of mind knowing you are in experienced and trusted hands. Our attorneys are knowledgeable on assault and battery laws and understand the complexity involved with these types of cases. We will work to identify the best defense strategy for your case and aggressively fight to defend your rights. We care about each of our clients and are determined to help. We are available 24/7 and will keep you updated on everything happening with your case.

    During your initial consultation, we will walk you through the charges and accusations, explain our representation process, answer any questions you may have, and let you know what the next steps of your case should be. After our consultation, we will get to work right away to examine your case and start building a solid defense. We pull out all the stops to gather evidence, identify helpful witnesses, look for holes in the prosecution’s case, conduct our own investigation, establish a strong defense strategy, and work tirelessly to try and get you the best outcome possible.

    Choosing A San Diego Assault & Battery Attorney

    If you are looking for an aggressive criminal defense lawyer who will stop at nothing to help you get the best possible outcome for your case, you have come to the right place. David Silldorf and his associates have more than 45 years of experience defending people accused of all types of crime. When you choose David Silldorf Law, you can rest assured you are doing everything you can to best position yourself against the government. Do not hesitate to call today so we can begin putting together your legal defense and start fighting for you.

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      David Silldorf, CrIminal Defense Attorney in San Diego

      If you are facing assault and battery charges it is important that you retain the services of a San Diego defense lawyer as soon as possible. Regardless of how minor you may consider the event to be, these investigations can quickly spiral out of your control and escalate.

      The state of California takes a very serious approach to allegations of assault and battery so you need an attorney who is equally serious about protecting your rights and freedoms.

      We understand the laws surrounding assault and battery and how to navigate the legal system to get the best possible result for your case. Call David Silldorf today.

      Case Results
      noun strikes 19787 FFFFFF

      People v. an Individual


      Client charged with 5 violent felony strike counts with PC § 1192.7 allegations. Client ACQUITTED after jury trial on all felony strike counts, and the lesser included misdemeanor PC § 240 simple assault. Client found NOT GULITY on all charges.


      People v. an Individual


      Client, a navy seal, was arrested for felony assault causing great bodily injury for head-stomping victim in the Gas Lamp District. Client was charged with assault with force likely (no GBI). At the time of the guilty plea (and before the preliminary hearing), the Court reduced the felony per PC 17(b) to a misdemeanor over the People’s objection. 8 months later at sentencing, the Court agreed to:


      noun Gun 124552

      People v. an individual


      Client charged with PC § 245(a)(1), § 245(a)(2), and § 245(a)(4) for allegedly racking and “dry firing” a gun multiple times at his Uber driver’s vehicle and person before pistol-whipping the Uber driver. Client struck the Uber driver multiple times in the face with a gun, causing significant laceration and bruising. Case originally resolved for a non-strike felony with alternatives to custody (6-months CPAC). Additional litigation and negotiations resulted in a felony-strike allegation to avoid custody after CPAC denial. Ultimately, client received PROBATION, 6-months SCRAM/home detention with alcohol monitoring, 8-hours of anger management and community service hours. In all, Client served less than 1 day in custody.



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