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What is Assault?

Assault is an attempt to commit a violent injury upon someone else. In order to be convicted of assault, the following have to be true:

  • The defendant acted in a way that would most likely result in the applying force directly to someone else
  • The defendant acted willfully
  • The defendant was aware that his or her actions would result in applying force to someone else
  • The defendant was capable of applying force to someone else when he or she acted

You don’t have to touch someone else in order to be guilty of assault, only act in a way that would lead to applying force.

The potential penalties for assault (Penal Code 240) include some or all of the following:

  • Misdemeanor probation
  • Incarceration time
  • Up to $1,000 fine


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Elements of Assault Charges

In order to be guilty of assault charges, certain elements have to be true.

Application of Force
The application of force means any harmful or offensive touching. Even the slightest touching can be considered assault if it is done in an offensive way. An injury does not have to occur with the application of force and it does not have to be direct; it can be done with an object.

You have to have willfully touched another person to be charged with assault. Even if you did not intend to break the law, hurt anyone, or gain any advantage it can still be considered assault.

Actions could lead to application of force
If you didn’t intend to harm anyone, but you knew that your actions could lead to the application of force then assault charges apply.


Legal Defenses for Assault

In order to use the self-defense legal defense all of the following have to be true:

  • You reasonably believed that you or someone else was in danger of being assaulted or touched
  • You reasonably believed that it was necessary to use force to defend yourself or someone else from that danger
  • You didn’t use any more force than was necessary to defend yourself or someone else from that danger

You have to have willfully tried to touch someone or had the intent to do so to be guilty of assault. If you turned around suddenly and almost hit someone in the process, that is not assault.

It’s very easy to accuse someone of assault since there doesn’t have to be any touching or injury involved. False accusations come out of anger, jealousy, or possibly revenge. A good criminal defense lawyer will know how to get to the truth.

Have you been legally accused of committing assault? If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, it is essential to obtain legal council for help. It’s important to take your charges seriously. Don’t just hope for the best. Hire an attorney who understands your situation and the consequences you face.

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Phone: 559-691-6222

Your Defense Attorney for Assault Charges

I’m Mark A. Broughton and I’m here to fight for you. I have been a defense Attorney for 40+ years and have represented thousands of people accused of crimes. I have extensive experience representing citizens charged with Violent Crimes such as Gang Crimes, Gun Charges, Domestic Violence, and Kidnapping to name a few.

10.0Mark A. Broughton
Mark A. BroughtonReviewsout of 23 reviews

About Mark Broughton:

Compassionate, highly experienced, exceptional reputation, ethical and honest:

Mark Broughton has been practicing law for over 40 years. He estimates that he has conducted over 200 jury trials – everything from DUIs, drug cases, sex cases, domestic violence, assaults, “three-strikes,” dozens of cases involving criminal street gangs, gun/deadly weapons, drive-by shootings, robberies, attempted murders, and murders, including special circumstance murder cases.

He has received many outright Not Guilty verdicts for his clients in all of these types of cases, including several murder cases – at one time between 2005-2007, the jury found his clients Not Guilty in four separate cases in a row.

Mark Broughton is qualified as a death penalty lawyer and is on the special circumstances/death penalty panel of attorneys in Fresno, California, where he is regularly appointed to special circumstances/death penalty murder cases by the Fresno County Superior Court.

Other Qualifications:
  • Certified Specialist Criminal Law, State Bar of California
  • Board of Trustees, State Bar of California
  • Chairman, Fresno County Bar Association, Criminal Law Section

Mark Broughton enjoys close relationships with his clients.  He sees every individual’s situation with compassion and empathy and believes that every person has the right to a fair trial and is innocent until proven guilty.

Above all, he enjoys helping reunite his clients and their families during and after dealing with perhaps the most difficult time in their lives, going through the challenging criminal process with them.

Practice Areas

  • Federal Crime 40%
  • White Collar Crime 20%
  • Violent Crime 20%
  • Criminal Defense 10%
  • Sex Crimes 10%

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