Top Palo Alto, CA Assault Lawyers Near You

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Palo Alto Assault Information

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Lead Counsel independently verifies Assault attorneys in Palo Alto by conferring with California bar associations and conducting annual reviews to confirm that an attorney practices in their advertised practice areas and possesses a valid bar license for the appropriate jurisdictions.

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Do You Need a Criminal Assault Attorney?

If you need to defend against criminal assault charges, a Palo Alto criminal assault lawyer can make all the difference. Assault charges are serious and no one should try and defend themselves without legal help.

The Crime of Assault

Since an assault can be both a crime and a tort, a perpetrator can be held civilly and criminally responsible. Each state has its own definition of what the crime of assault entails and normally includes the victim apprehending some sort of harmful and/or offensive contact. It can also be when there is an attempted battery, but it was not successful.

What Are The Types of Assault?

The most commonly encountered forms of assault are simple assault, aggravated assault, verbal assault and sexual assault.

Simple assault refers to any violence, or threat thereof, which does not involve the use of a deadly weapon. One example of simple assault might be a fellow patron threatening to punch you in the face over a disagreement at a bar, and another might be getting involved in the fight that follows.

Aggravated assault is a more serious form of assault, and by definition involves the use of a deadly weapon. Someone threatening to kill you while brandishing a firearm could be found guilty of aggravated assault, for example.

Sexual assault occurs when an offender, without the consent of the victim, engages in any non-consensual sexual act. A bar patron groping another guest’s breasts without their consent would constitute an act of sexual assault.

Verbal assault is as it sounds, and is typically more of a societal infraction or grounds for a civil suit rather than a criminal case. While verbal assault may be part of a simple or basic assault charge (threats of violence, if credible, do constitute assault) it is not a criminal charge in and of itself.

What Are The Differences Between Felony and Misdemeanor Assault?

Assault can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony offense, based both on the jurisdiction as well as the severity of the alleged offense itself.

What was earlier described as simple assault is more commonly charged as a misdemeanor. A blow to the chest that left no lasting medical impression on the victim could be charged as a misdemeanor if the offender is a first-time offender. That being said, repeat offenders may see an instance that may have been afforded leniency by a court prosecutor escalated to a felony offense.

Instances of aggravated assault, however — even if not legally differentiated from assault or battery in a particular case — are almost always charged as felony offenses. Cutting someone with a knife, shooting someone with a gun or any other instance of serious physical violence which results in non-superficial bodily harm are instances in which felony charges are likely.

It should also be noted that assault and battery are commonly conflated, and some jurisdictions do not differentiate between the two. In jurisdictions that do delineate the two charges, battery typically requires that physical contact is actually made between the offender and victim during the offense, while assault does not require this element.

What Are The Different Degrees of Assault?

There are several different degrees of assault. Assault with intent to murder can result in imprisonment for a period of up to 20 years if convicted, while assault with a dangerous weapon can be penalized by up to 10 years behind bars. Simple assault can result in fines as well as a jail sentence of up to one year.

Many state courts treat assault under a difference of degrees. In some states, for example, an assault can be charged as a Class A misdemeanor, as a Class D felony or as a Class B felony. If you are charged a misdemeanor, you could be penalized with a fine, a jail sentence and probation for years. A Class D felony conviction could lead to incarceration, while a Class B felony conviction can result in a sentence of between three to 25 years imprisonment.

Why Do You Need a Defense Lawyer for Assault Charges?

If you are facing assault charges, whether felony or misdemeanor and at the state or federal level, it is highly advisable that you secure the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Assault charges are taken quite seriously by courts, and a conviction will result not only in potential incarceration, hefty fines and restitution but also a criminal record. A skilled lawyer can help you navigate the options available to you and craft the best defense possible.

Do You Need a Criminal Assault Attorney?

No matter what your legal issue may be, it is always best to seek legal help early in the process. An attorney can help secure what is likely to be the best possible outcome for your situation and avoid both unnecessary complications or errors.

If you need to defend against criminal assault charges, a Palo Alto criminal assault lawyer can make all the difference. Assault charges are serious and no one should try and defend themselves without legal help.

What sort of issues can I seek legal help with?

Specialized legal help is available for most legal issues. Each case is unique; seeking legal help is a smart first step toward understanding your legal situation and seeking the best path toward resolution for your case. An experienced lawyer understands the local laws surrounding your case and what your best legal options might be. More importantly, there are certain situations and circumstances – such as being charged with a crime – where you should always seek experienced legal help.

The Importance of a Good Consultation

The goal of an initial consultation is to find an attorney you are comfortable working with and someone who can help you understand your options under the law. Seek to understand the relevant legal experience the attorney brings to your case. While it is not realistic to expect an attorney to resolve your legal issue during an initial consultation, you should gain a level of comfort with his/her ability to do so. A good consultation can clarify issues, raise pertinent questions and considerations for your case, and help you make an informed decision towards resolving your legal issue.

How much does it cost to hire an attorney?

In general, how much an attorney costs will often depend on these four factors: billing method and pricing structure, type of legal work performed, law firm prestige, and attorney experience. Depending on the legal issue you are facing, an attorney may bill you by the hour, settle on a flat fee, or enter into a contingency fee agreement. The type of legal work you need help with will also play a role in cost incurred.

Common legal terms explained

Personal jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority over a person, in order to bind that person to the judgment of the court, based on minimum contacts. International Shoe Co v. Washington is a landmark Supreme Court case outlining the scope of a state court’s reach in personal jurisdiction.

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