If you or someone you know has been arrested for assault or any criminal offense in the San Jose area, we can help. The Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller represents clients in the face of assault charges and related misdemeanor or felony offenses, offering high-quality legal representation and dedicated client service.
We understand that you are at risk of facing imprisonment and other serious penalties if you are convicted of assault, not to mention the difficulty of living with a criminal record that can limit employment, housing, educational, and financial opportunities. By contacting a dfense lawyer at our offices, you can undergo a free confidential consultation that will help you get more information about your case and how we can approach your defense.
What are the penalties for an assault conviction?
Simple assault is a misdemeanor offense in California. This particular form of assault involves an attempt or threat of violent injury upon another person, with the apparent or actual ability to carry it out. An example may be as follows: Bob accidentally bumps into Joe at a bar. Joe becomes very angry and raises his fist, threatening to hit Bob right then and there. This threat (or if Bob swung at Joe and missed) may be considered simple assault. The penalties for simple assault may be as follows, although they will vary depending on the particular circumstances of the offense:
- Informal probation for up to 3 years
- Up to 6 months in county jail
- A fine of up to $1,000
- Community service
A defendant may face felony assault charges and increased penalties if accused of assault on a peace officer or assault with a deadly weapon.
Understanding Criminal vs. Civil Assault Cases
Criminal assault charges can only be levied if the plaintiff can show there was a threat or attempt to harm them, followed by an intentional act, such as raising a fist or object. While this act can include touching the other individual, physical contact is not required when making a case for assault. In civil assault cases, individuals must be able to prove the same elements of criminal assault: intent to harm paired with the capacity to inflict that harm, which results in reasonable fear of physical damage. Victims of assault are not limited to choosing between criminal and civil cases. Rather, victims can, and often do, file both types of assault charges.
While criminal charges can result in fines and jail time, civil assault cases are designed to award damages to the plaintiff. These can cover a variety of expenses, including medical costs, therapy, and lost pay. Some civil cases also offer victims compensation for any pain and suffering. In addition to these regular damages, a civil assault case can also result in punitive damages. Intended to penalize the defendant for excessively abhorrent actions, punitive damages can amount to three times the regular damages and are meant to send a message discouraging others from participating in the same behavior.
Contact Attorney Mueller for a Free Case Evaluation
If you have been charged with assault, you could be facing multiple cases with severe penalties. We believe you should not have to go through this alone. By working with an experienced San Jose criminal defense attorney, you can trust that you will have a team of legal professionals committed to providing the strongest defense possible for your case. With nearly 40 years of experience, Attorney Mueller has handled close to 10,000 cases and has an outstanding record of success. Our team is devoted to our clients, offering personalized attention to ensure the best outcome for each individual situation.
Contact our office today if you would like to discuss your assault charges!