The most common person crime is Assault, which can be charged under four categories: Assault I, Assault II, Assault III, and Assault IV.
Assault I and Assault II are Ballot Measure 11 crimes and carry mandatory minimum prison sentences. Assault I is a mandatory minimum of 90 months, and Assault II is a mandatory minimum of 75 months prison.
Assault III is a Class C felony and carries up to a five year prison sentence, though does not have a mandatory minimum.
Assault IV is a Class A misdemeanor with a potential jail sentence of up to one year.
The category of Assault and the degree of the charge is based on the severity of any injury, and whether or not a weapon was used. It is not uncommon for a Ballot Measure Assault II to be reduced in negotiations to an Assault III — which is a Class C felony and can be expunged from your record. It is also not uncommon for Assault III and Assault IV to be civilly compromised if a person has little or no criminal history and the complainant is willing to enter into an agreement to have the matter fully resolved, both civilly and criminally.
As in any case, it is important to get as many facts as possible in Assault cases as there is usually an exaggeration of the facts by a person who is claiming an injury. It has been my experience that it is important to take the initiative in investigating a case as soon as possible in order to get all the facts, and to not just accept the facts as presented to the District Attorney by a police officer.
Over the past 25 years as a criminal defense attorney, I have effectively represented hundreds of people in Assault cases through aggressive advocacy as well as a rigorous pursuit of the facts in each case.