An assault occurs when a person touches someone with force and without their permission. It can involve a body part or a weapon, and generally an injury is visible. Assault with a weapon is treated more severely, and gang related assault is considered a major crime.
Being charged with general assault may result in a 6 month county jail term, however weapon-related charges can increase the sentence by 10 years, and gang-related assault can result in a 20 year sentence.
Complexity of Assault Cases
Assault cases are usually driven by physical evidence. Evidence may include bruising, scratches, broken bones, cuts, or other physical damage. These cases rely heavily on eye witnesses; and, unfortunately, these can often prove to be unreliable. Eye witnesses are usually used by the prosecution to prove a case. Therefore, as defense attorneys we need to investigate whether the testimonies are accurate and believable. If an eye witness says that he saw our client jump over the hood of a car and assault a victim on the other side of the vehicle, and our client is an 85-year-old man walking on crutches, then obviously the eye witness either saw somebody else jump over the hood of the car or fabricated the entire story.
Need for an Attorney in Assault Charges
Because an assault charge belongs to the Violent Crime section of violations, people accused of such crimes are often treated very harshly. It’s vital to hire an attorney immediately in order to preserve your rights and obtain as much evidence as possible to assist with the case.
Our attorneys are experts at gathering vital information using a range of resources, including surveillance cameras. Due to the nature of such crimes, the victims (or alleged victims) are in a powerful position and may alter their account of the story in order to hurt the person they are accusing. Obviously, the more severe the account of assault is, the higher the punishment. Our job is to insure our client is defended to the best of our ability, and that our clients’ rights are not violated. If he or she is found guilty, we make sure that the punishment is fair and not exaggerated due to false claims.
Examples of Defenses Used in Assault Cases
A victim alleged that our client took a knife and slashed the victim’s forearm. The victim claimed they were trying to defend themselves by covering their head/face with their arm and as a result the forearm was slashed. There was, indeed, a slash on the forearm, so we took a picture of it to examine. Intriguingly, the slash is slanted in such a way that would be impossible for a right-handed person (such as our defendant) to achieve, as the knife could not be angled that way.
In another serious case we defended a person who was accused of assaulting his girlfriend by biting her. We obtained the photograph of the bite on her forearm and found that the bite showed only the top jaw mark. The rest of the forearm was completely undamaged and it did not make sense that a person could open their mouth so wide that their bottom jaw would disappear off the photograph. The photograph was sent to an expert who is one of the preeminent experts on bites in the United States. By examining the tooth markings and shape, the expert determined that the bite was from an animal, not a human. We sent our investigator over to interview the neighbors and discovered that one of the friends of the victim has a Rottweiler puppy and the puppy plays rough. So, it was possible that the bite came from the puppy. Eventually, the victim confessed that she lied about everything because she thought that her boyfriend was cheating on her and she wanted to cause him harm. The case was dismissed.
These are examples of why experienced attorneys are vital in assault cases.
Our Experience with Assault Claims
Our firm has been working in this field for a combined total of 36 years. We also involve other attorneys and expert investigators to assist with our cases whenever necessary. We know that assault cases are serious and require specialist assistance.
We had a case where an army veteran went out with his army friends. After a few drinks, he went back to his car which was in a parking structure. As he was driving out, other cars were waiting, so he was forced to wait. There were a number of cars in front of him and for whatever reason he just angled off to the side and started playing ‘bumper cars’ with everybody. He literally started pushing other cars out of his way with his car, and in so doing also hit several people. He was eventually pulled from his car and subdued while people waited for the police to arrive. The client was distressed and yelling that he had to get his child. This was a serious case and the client was facing many years in a state prison.
On interviewing the client, he did not appear to be someone who would behave in such a way on purpose, and his blood alcohol level was not high enough to induce this type of behavior. We organized for an expert to assess him and received a very thorough report explaining our client had been diagnosed with PTSD and at times he would black out and have episodes. The evidence was presented to the judge and prosecution and the client was released from custody.
Advantage Of Choosing Gurovich, Berk & Associates
Our attorneys have been practicing law for a very long time. We have handled many assault cases and are very good at what we do. Our attorneys are respected by many of the prosecutors and judges in town. They understand that we thoroughly investigate any case presented to us; and that, at the same time, we respect their best intentions to bring justice to the genuine victims.