When facing charges of assault or battery in California, you may be unsure of where to turn or what you can do to protect your long-term interests. A strong criminal defense strategy is important for your future, and you can start with this process by learning more about the law and the charges against you. This can help you understand how to fight back. 

Charges involving assault and battery are serious, and there are a range of penalties you could face if convicted. You would be wise to take seriously even the allegation of a violent crime and work diligently to protect your interests and your constitutional rights. Your future and your personal freedoms are worth fighting for.

Understand the charges against you

Assault and battery charges often go hand in hand, meaning you may face charges for both due to the same incident, but there is a difference between the two. They can take many forms, and often, assault or battery cases involve one person’s word against another. The difference between these two types of criminal charges include the following: 

  • Battery – Battery charges can follow incidents that involve violence or the use of force. For a conviction of battery, there must be proof that the accused was willful in his or her actions.
  • Assault – Assault is any type of unlawful attempt to cause another person to suffer physical harm. You can face assault charges even if there was no actual physical contact. 

The penalties for assault, battery or both depend largely on the type of harm suffered by the victim and the specific nature of his or her injuries. In serious cases, you may face aggravated assault, especially if there was a weapon involved. No matter how strong the prosecution’s case may seem, you are entitled to a defense and certain rights, even when accused of a violent crime. 

Don’t wait to start

Building your defense can start as soon as possible after incident occurs. Whether your case is still in the investigative stage or there are formal charges against you, it is never too early or too late to start working on how you can defend yourself. 

If you are unsure of where to begin, a smart place to start is a complete evaluation of your case and explanation of your defense options. You may find great benefit in speaking about assault and battery charges with an experienced criminal defense attorney familiar with California’s criminal justice system.