Defending Against Common Criminal Charges in California

Have you been charged with a crime in the state of California? If so, you should regard the charges with the utmost seriousness regardless of your personal perception of their validity.  The state’s prosecutor will be making every effort to convict you – an outcome that could change your life for the worse in a drastic way. Depending on the crime you have been charged with, the penalties issued by the court upon conviction may include jail time, fines, fees, community service, loss or restriction of driving privileges, loss or suspension of driving privileges, and reputational damage. The purpose of this article is to explain the most common types of criminal charges in the state of California. If you have been charged with a crime in California, contact a skilled and experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney.

Assault and Battery Among the Most Common Criminal Charges in California

Assault and battery are common criminal charges in the state of California. Despite the relatively commonplace nature of these charges, confusion persists regarding the difference between the two. The dividing line between assault and battery is whether an actual use of unlawful force occurred. If so, then the proper umbrella charge is battery. If not, then the proper area of criminality is assault, which concerns an attempt at a use of unlawful force. Depending on whether a weapon – especially a deadly one – was used in either on assault or battery, the charge may be classified as a felony. Another important factor in determining whether to classify a battery as a serious felony is the extent to which serious bodily injury was inflicted on the victim.

Driving-Related Criminal Charges Common in California

California, with its population in the tens of millions, possesses one of the most extensive and intricate network of highways in the United States. As such, the state’s streets, roads, and highways are a venue in which crime inevitably occurs. Among the most common driving-related charges is Driving Under the Influence (DUI). The influence in question is commonly alcohol, but may also be drugs, whether illegal or validly prescribed, or a combination. Depending on whether DUI was accompanied by property damage or personal injuries, the charge may be prosecuted as a felony. Driving-related charges that do not necessarily involve impaired driving include driving without a license, driving with a suspended license, vehicular manslaughter, hit  and run, and evading an officer.

Theft Criminal Charges Common in California

A third context in which criminal charges are common in California is theft. As with assault and battery, the seriousness of the charge and harshness of penalties are a factor of whether the theft involved the use of deadly weapons, the value of the property illegally taken, and whether any serious bodily injuries were involved. If you have been charged with a theft crime, driving-related, crime, assault, battery, or other crime, contact a skilled and experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney now.