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Assault and Battery

Matthew Ruff, Top Assault & Battery Defense Attorney

Call Matthew Directly For A Consultation 310-527-4100

For over 25 years Matthew has been defending those charged with violent altercations, oftentimes with great success. When you are charged with the crime of violence you need a Top Tier Assault Lawyer who knows the legal system. and gets great results. For example, recently Matthew was hired when a young man was arrested at a nightclub for punching a patron and was charged with a misdemeanor in Los Angeles. The incident was clearly self defense and Matt fought the charges and got the case dismissed.

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Matt was hired by a client charged with assault involving a motor vehicle. The case stemmed from a minor car accident that got blown out of proportion when the alleged victim accused the client intentionally ramming her car with a Big Rig the client was driving. If convicted of the charges the client would suffer a lifetime loss of driving privileges in California. Matt fought the case hard, obtained an expert and took the case all the way to jury trial. The jury agreed with Matthew and acquitted his client of all charges, NOT GUILTY.

Matt recently represented a client accused of assaulting his girlfriend's family with a loaded firearm in Lawndale California. The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department investigates and arrested the client for ADW and criminal threats. The client had a long record and was facing over 20 years in prison. Matt filed a legal motion challenging the evidence and ultimately got the assault charges dismissed along with all other strikes in Torrance Court.

Matthew was retained by a client arrested in Manhattan Beach for assault near the Pier after a night of partying. Matt assembled a team of witnesses and experts to show the client was acting in self defense. As a Top Torrance Assault Attorney, Matt knew exactly what to do. Knowing that a criminal conviction would scar his client forever he pushed the DA to ultimately dismiss all charges.

Matthew was retained by the father of a local college student charged with assault and battery on a roommate in Gardena. The client was attending El Camino College and was close to graduating when an altercation ensued in her apartment. The police were called and she was involved in a fight with the police officers who arrived so additional charges of assault on a peace officer were added (Battery on a Peace Officer PC 243(b) 243 (c)(2) ). A Court date was set in Torrance and Matt put together a defense that was presented to the DA. An agreement was entered into allowing for ALL CHARGES TO BE DISMISSED upon completion of counseling and other conditions. Her record remained clean.

In another case Matthew was hired by a Torrance resident charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon (PC 245) stemmed from an incident involving a family member. The charges were based on contrived evidence and Matthew sought to uncover the truth. He commenced an investigation that revealed the accusers lies and criminal history. On the date set for preliminary hearing Matthew presented the evidence and the District Attorney dropped all charges.

The crime of "assault and battery" is a bit of a misnomer, actually the offense incorporates two separate crimes: Assault which is an unlawful act which creates an apprehension of physical force, and Battery which is the unlawful touching or actual use of force upon an individual. In California, the law of assault is codified and defined in Penal Code section 240 and it requires the accused to engage in an act which by its nature would likely result in the application of physical force on another person. The crime also requires that the suspect be in a position that would allow for the force and that he or she have the present ability to apply that force. This offense is a straight misdemeanor in the state and carries up to a year in the county jail if proven. Surprisingly, no actual contact or injury is required and a person could be found guilty of an assault even if the conduct amounted to a conditional threat if the conduct requires that the threatened party engage in some conduct that the threatening party has no legal right to demand.

A variation of the crime is that of assault with a deadly weapon or ADW. The applicable code section defining this is Penal Code 245. The prosecution must establish, by proof beyond a reasonable doubt, that the perpetrator committed the same elements as that of PC240 with the additional requirement that he or she utilize a deadly weapon. The law defines this as any object, weapon or instrument which is used in such a manner as to be capable of producing great bodily injury or death. Thus the instrumentality can be a firearm, knife, club, baseball bat or other physical object. The weapon can also be a motor vehicle, in recent years our office has seen a proliferation of assault charges (ADW) filed against persons in "road rage" situations. What distinguishes a collision from a simple accident to that of assault is the element of intent. The difference between ADW and simple assault is that the former is a felony punishable by up to four years in the state prison. It is important to understand that the crime of ADW does not always require a weapon, a person could assault someone in such a manner that would be likely to result in great bodily injury, if so then the crime of ADW has occurred. With regard to an assault involving a motor vehicle or car, it should be noted that a California conviction of ADW under these circumstances requires a mandatory lifetime revocation of any and all driving privileges.

Another frequently asked question as it pertains to the crime of assault with a deadly weapon is whether the "weapon" can be hands or feet? The answer is no, the law does not recognize these body parts as weapons as articulated in the California criminal statute. However, if one were to use these and severe injury resulted, say a serious bruise, cuts or broken bones which require hospitalization, the perpetrator could face an enhancement known as "assault causing great bodily injury". The end result of a conviction for such an offense is that the defendant could have a strike felony on his record which could cause a judge to sentence the individual to state prison.

Furthermore, the use of words alone cannot constitute an assault, the law requires an act along with the required intent to cause an assault. What this means is if you scream at someone and tell them you want to hurt them, no assault has occurred. However the crime of criminal threats my have been committed.

The companion to assault is the offense of battery. This crime requires that the defendant actually make contact with the victim and that the contact, however slight, was unjustified and done with force. The term "unjustified" means that the application of force or violence was not in self defense. In establishing whether the force or violence was done in self defense the burden of proof is on the District Attorney or prosecutor to prove it was not in lawful self defense of them self or of others, such as a family member or friend. Variations of the crime of battery include the offense on a police or public officer, battery on a spouse or cohabitant, battery or a fireman or parking attendant, and battery causing serious injury. These events can all lead to incarceration, fines, probation, jail or loss of citizenship. A defense lawyer can help defend the case in Court and lead to a favorable result.

What about Battery on a peace officer, does Matt handle these cases? Yes, the crime of assault or battery on a peace officer is codified in Penal Code 243(B). The crime requires proof the person battered a protected person. The definition of a "peace officer" is different than in other statutes. The law includes traffic officers and lifeguards in the charge, among others. Interestingly, the crime does not require proof the person was actually injured. Also, California law recently changed to allow for prosecution of PC243b even in cases where the police officer was working as a private security guard. Matthew has fought and won many of these charges over the last 25 years. Call Matt if you are seeking a lawyer to defend you on allegations of battery of a police officer in Los Angeles.

What if the alleged victim is a spouse, cohabitant or my fiancé? The law in California distinguishes between a battery involving these individuals. Penal Code section 243(e)(1) applies when the complaining witness is someone with whom you are in a dating relationship. A battery one one of the following persons is a misdemeanor punishable by not more than 1 year in the county jail: 1. A spouse, 2. A Cohabitant, 3. A parent of the defendant's child, 4. A fiancé, 5. A person with whom the defendant has been or currently is engaged or in a dating relationship.

Criminal Defense Attorney Matthew J. Ruff has significant experience defending clients charged with all assault and battery charges in the state of California. His offices are located in Torrance which is in Los Angeles County and Bakersfield which is located in Kern County. He has personally obtained dismissals and acquittals of assault charges, both felony and misdemeanor in all Courts within his practice such as Los Angeles County Superior Court, Kern County Court, Torrance, Hermosa Beach, Gardena, Palos Verdes, Long Beach, Inglewood, Compton, LAX airport, Santa Monica and Venice, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, among many others. If you or someone you care about is facing jail time on these allegations, call Mr. Ruff today for a free consultation.

Contact Matthew J. Ruff Attorney at Law Today!

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