If you have been threatened or physically harmed by another person, you may be eager to hold that person accountable for his actions. Besides alerting law enforcement and filing a police report, you should also speak to a personal injury attorney to determine if you should file a civil lawsuit against your assailant as well.
Assault vs. Battery
Many people refer to assault and battery as it if is one crime, but it’s actually two separate crimes in the state of California. Assault is defined as an unlawful attempt to harm another person. Assault does not have to involve physical contact between the aggressor and the victim. On the other hand, battery is defined as any force or violence used on a person. There are several degrees of battery that a person may be charged with depending on the severity of the crime.
Criminal vs. Civil Court
If you are a victim of assault and battery, you may be involved in both a criminal and civil court case against your attacker. After the incident, you can file a police report detailing the assault and battery, which will launch an investigation into the crime. If enough evidence can be gathered to support your story, the attacker will be charged with a crime. He can either plead guilty to the crime and be sentenced right away, or he can plead not guilty. If he chooses to plead not guilty, his case will go to trial in front of a jury of his peers. In criminal court, the district attorney’s office will represent the state and attempt to prove that the defendant committed the crime and should be punished for it. You may be asked to testify as a witness to convince the jury of the defendant’s guilt, but besides that you do not have much involvement in a criminal case against your assailant.
Whereas the state of California takes the lead in criminal court, the victim is in control in civil court. If you want to take action in civil court, it is up to you to seek representation from a personal injury attorney and file a civil lawsuit against the defendant. Unlike criminal court, the purpose of civil court is not to determine whether the defendant is innocent or guilty. In civil court, it will be decided whether the defendant should compensate the victim for physical and emotional suffering caused by the defendant’s actions. The defendant will not be sentenced to jail time or probation in civil court, but he may be ordered to pay the plaintiff a large sum of money.
Legal Representation For Assault and Battery Victims
Assault and battery victims may suffer physical and emotional pain as a result of the attack. If you have been a victim of assault and battery, contact Carpenter, Zuckerman, and Rowley today to discuss your legal options. Our experienced personal injury attorneys may be able to help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.