Articles Posted in Assault and Battery

Some individuals are not aware that there are differences between “battery” and “domestic battery.” Battery can be a less personal crime and does not depend on the relationship between individuals. Domestic battery, however, refers to violence that occurs between two people with a special relationship including spouses, fiancees, parent and child, family members, or cohabitants. To be convicted of domestic battery, no visible injury is required. The penalty for domestic battery is a maximum of a day less than a year in county jail and a fine of $2,000.

Because the statistics behind domestic violence are alarming, California law enforcement zealously pursues violators of domestic violence laws. Domestic violence laws in California are designed to severely punish individuals who break them. This article will provide various pieces of advice to help others who are convicted of domestic violence charges in California:

  • Abide by Court Orders: If the court issues “no contact” or other types of orders, it is in your best interest to follow these orders. To ensure that the least negative effects possible arise from your case, it is imperative that you adhere by these orders.

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.

Assault is one of the oldest crimes in the book. Often, as is evidenced by film and television, it is linked to the crime of battery. While it is true that is it possible to be charged with “assault and battery,” it is possible to be charged with one crime, but not the other. One thing is true with regard to conviction for either crime in the state of California – you will face serious consequences. As such, you need to rely on the skill of an experienced California criminal defense attorney. A skilled attorney will fight to protect your legal rights, invoke any legitimate defenses (e.g. self-defense), and explore all avenues of reasonable doubt in challenging the state prosecutor’s efforts to convict you.

Distinguishing Assault from Battery

Sometimes the difference between assault and battery is simply the difference between a swing and a miss and a swing and a hit. In other words, the outcome of the swing matters. The swing is the attempt, and it is the crucial element of assault. Under California Penal Code 240, assault is an attempt to use force or violence on another person. So, even if you attempt to throw a punch or a swing baseball bat at another person and fail to make contact with them, you may be properly charged with assault for merely making the attempt to use force or violence on them.  

Conviction for elder abuse in the state of California comes with serious penalties, including fines, jail time, and reputation damage. If you have been charged with an elder abuse crime, you need an experienced California criminal defense attorney to protect your legal rights and mount the strongest defense possible. The purpose of this article is to explain elder abuse charges, and the penalties for conviction.

Elder Abuse May Be Prosecuted as a Misdemeanor or a Felony

California is a large and fast-growing state, and with that comes a large population of senior citizens. With this large number and expanding percentages of seniors in the California population, there are thousands of retirement communities, nursing homes, and other care facilities. It is at these facilities, where elder abuse sometimes occurs. Family members and caregivers are the individuals most commonly charged with elder abuse, and the crime is reported to personally impact over 14% of America’s seniors. The word “elder” itself refers to seniors – specifically, anyone who is sixty-five (65) years or older. The word “abuse” has a wider meaning, and includes more than physical abuse or acts of violence. Under California law, elder abuse may also take the form of emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and endangerment, and financial abuse – all heinous crimes. Whether elder abuse is prosecuted as a felony or misdemeanor depends on a number of factors, including the defendant’s criminal history and the nature of alleged abuse.

With much of the world’s financial activity transitioned from paper-based to online systems, cyber crimes like fraud often occur in the elder abuse context. California already punishes cyber crime and elder abuse harshly when independent from one another. When the two crimes combine into one enterprise, the penalties for conviction can be especially severe. If you have been charged with the internet-based financial exploitation of a California senior citizen, it is imperative that you contact a skilled California criminal defense attorney. With the state working to convict you, you need to mount the strongest legal defense possible.

Financial Abuse is a Type of Elder Abuse

Elders are a vulnerable and venerated part of our society. Having made it to the age of 65, these senior citizens command respect as they enjoy their golden years. When the happy times of this respected class of citizens are disturbed by criminal conduct, the law takes action. Elder abuse takes on several forms: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, endangerment, and, most relevant to our discussion here, financial abuse. Not every form of elder financial abuse is computer-based. Some forms include ordinary theft, such as taking money or property.  The same is true for the forging of an elder’s signature, or using force or duress to get an elder to sign a will, deed, or power of attorney. However, as more computer-literate generations reach the age of 65, more and more internet-based financial elder abuse occurs, whether through the inducement of elders into financial scams online, or illicitly obtaining an elder’s personal financial information to use for fraudulent online purchases. In other words, personal computers are becoming more and more prevalent in retirement communities every year as an effect of increased computer and online literacy. When internet fraud is perpetrated against an elder, the law is justified in dispensing enhanced punishments – penalties for both the act of fraud, and the perpetration of the act against an elder.

In the state of California, there is a crime termed “assault with a deadly weapon.” Codified by California Penal 245 PC, assault with a deadly weapon occurs when at least one of two criteria is met – a California assault that is committed with a “deadly weapon,” or a California assault that is committed with a level of force that is likely to produce great bodily injury. For individuals in the San Diego area who have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, it is imperative to understand the nature and potential consequences of a conviction and to retain the services of a skilled and experienced California criminal defense attorney.

What Makes a Weapon Deadly in the State of California?

The first question asked when contemplating the charge of assault with a deadly weapon in the state of California usually pertains to what distinguishes a “deadly” weapon from a non-deadly weapon.  California law, as one might expect, makes the differentiation. In California, a “deadly” weapon is any object, instrument, or weapon that is used a way that renders it capable of producing, and likely to produce, death or great bodily injury. Of course, the language here breeds further questions. What is “great bodily injury?” Used in what way? What objects, instruments, or weapons? Guns and knives come to mind quickly, but the list of deadly weapons contains many more items that just these two. For example, even a bottle or pencil, if used to attack someone, may rise to the level of deadly. This is because the law considers more than just the nature of the object in question; it also considers the purpose with which the object is used. Thus, an ordinary object such as a screwdriver, for instance, may be deemed a deadly weapon if used for the purpose of causing great bodily harm.  

During a dispute over his son, rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs allegedly attacked an assistant UCLA football coach and a UCLA intern by swinging a kettlebell at them. Combs was accused of assault with a deadly weapon as well as making criminal and terrorist threats and battery by UCLA police. Combs says that he was defending himself and his son Justin. His son, Justin Combs, is a redshirt on the UCLA football team.

The confrontation allegedly happened after UCLA conditioning coach Sal Alosi told Justin to get off the field during a summer workout. Later that same day, Justin and Sean Combs walked into his office, and the conversation became heated. Sources say that Combs allegedly grabbed a kettlebell and swung it around.

Nathalie Mora, a representative for Combs Enterprises, provided a statement that said, “The various accounts of the event and charges that are being reported are wholly inaccurate. What we can say now is that any actions taken by Mr. Combs were solely defensive in nature to protect himself and his son.”

At the law firm of Sean F. Leslie, Attorney at Law, our criminal defense attorneys are extremely knowledgeable and experienced in defending restraining order violations. Restraining orders can have a devastating effect on the person restrained. They may not be able to have contact with their loved ones and may even be forced to leave their home in order to comply. If you have been charged with violating a restraining order, we are committed to defending your case aggressively and protecting your rights.

What is a Restraining Order?

A restraining order, also known as a protective order, is a court order designed to protect someone from continued abuse, harassment, threats, or stalking. Generally, the restrained party is prohibited from any type of contact with the individual requesting the restraining order. Contact includes all forms of communication, including social media contact.

Unfortunately, there will always be people out there who are willing to sacrifice the life of someone else in order to obtain money; especially life insurance rewards. Toni Henthorn, a 50-year-old woman at the time, married to Harold Henthorn, 56, went on a vacation for their twelfth wedding anniversary to a scenic place called Deer Mountain, located in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. Toni was excited and wanted to get as close to nature as possible for her photography, so the two went off the trail slightly and closer to the ledge in order to get the shot she was aiming for. The suddenly, Toni fell off of the ledge and tumbled face first down the side of the mountain; it took Harold fifteen minutes to find her body and remarkably she was still breathing. By the time the paramedics arrived, however, she was dead. The shocker? Toni was sitting on life insurance policies worth four and a half million dollars and the inheritor of all of her bank accounts was Harold. According to the coroner, homicide cannot be ruled out, which lead to the indictment of Harold Henthorn over two years after the incident occurred on September 29, 2012. He was taken into possession and charged with first degree murder for the death of his wife, Toni Henthorn. Eerily enough, Harold was married before he met Toni and his ex-wife died in what he called a “car accident”; the car crushing her to death during a tire change mishap. According to Toni’s relatives, Harold had always seemed like a shady, money obsessed guy who turned Toni into a shell of her former self in order to be with him.

Sources:
“Woman Killed In National Park Had 4.5 Million Life Insurance” – UT San Diego

At Jay-Z and Beyonce’s Rose Bowl concert in Pasadena, an interesting altercation occurred between a man, woman and the woman’s boyfriend. The man, later identified to be 25-year-old Roberto Alcaraz-Garnica, apparently copped a feel on the wrong girl; her boyfriend was extremely unappreciative. The woman’s boyfriend confronted Alcaraz-Garnica directly about his actions and a fight broke out, and a violent one at that. According to police, Alcaraz-Garnica, the man accused of groping the woman, bit part of one of the boyfriend’s fingers off! He was immediately arrested and taken into custody on suspicion of sexual battery and “mayhem,” held on $100,000 bail. Authorities are unaware if Roverto Alcaraz-Garnica has a lawyer or if one needs to be provided to him. The woman and her boyfriend were not charged, but police did make 10 other various arrests during Saturday’s concert. Roughly 55,000 fans attended this particular concert and the same turnout was expected at the second concert Sunday. Hopefully no fingers were lost.

Sources:
“Fingertip Bitten off At Beyonce/Jay-Z concert in San Diego” – CBS 8