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San Jose CA assault and battery lawyer.jpgSan Jose was once considered one of the safest big cities in the United States. However, a new report shows that while violent crimes have gone down in other places throughout the Bay Area, the number of assaults and batteries committed locally have increased dramatically over the past year. To stop this trend, law enforcement is vowing to be more aggressive in its efforts, both in apprehending suspects and in pressing criminal charges.  

San Jose Police Focus on Reducing Violent Crime

Recently released police data shows that San Jose, once known for its low crime rate, has experienced a dramatic six percent increase in violent crimes over the course of 2018.

Local law enforcement officials blame the increase on the department’s struggle to rebuild after losing a significant number of officers in the aftermath of pension reforms. Over the past 10 years, the San Jose PD has lost more than 20 percent of its officers, reducing the force from 1,400 to just over 1,000 officers. As a result, there are slower response times when crimes are reported and a lesser likelihood of apprehensions. 

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San Jose, CA assault and battery defense lawyerWhen people talk about violent crimes, assault and battery tend to go hand in hand. In common conversation, assault and battery are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing if you are speaking legally. In legal terms, assault and battery are two different charges that describe two different types of actions and two different sentences. It is important to understand what crime you have been charged with and what the consequences of a conviction of that crime would be. 

Assault

According to the California Penal Code, assault is an “unlawful attempt . . .  to commit a violent injury on the person of another.” This means that you can be charged with assault even if you did not actually hurt the other person -- you just attempted to hurt the other person. For assault charges to lead to a conviction, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant willingly committed an action that was likely to harm another person and that the defendant reasonably knew that his or her action would result in harm.

In California, simple assault is a misdemeanor, but charges could increase to felony charges depending on the circumstances of the case. If you committed assault on a police officer or public official, or you committed assault with a deadly weapon, charges could be increased to felonies. For simple assault, the consequences include misdemeanor probation, up to six months in county jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines.

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violent felony, San Jose violent crime defense attorney, criminal offense, California law, human traffickingWhether or not a crime is classified as a violent felony can be of vital importance in a number of different circumstances. For example, violent felony convictions can count as strikes under California’s three strike law, and under CA Proposition 57 the state parole board can now consider early release for certain prisoners who did not commit a violent crime. This all seems pretty straightforward until you pause to consider which felonies are seen as being “violent” in the eyes of the law.

Does the perpetrator have to inflict bodily harm during the commission of a felony in order to have committed a violent felony? Does simply waving a gun in the air while committing a felony make that felony a violent one? In other words, what constitutes a violent felony under California law? The answer lies in the CA Penal Code.

Violent Felonies Defined: California PC 667.5(c)

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