San Diego Violent Crimes Defense Lawyer

SD Violent Crimes Attorney
Crimes involving violence against others have the most serious consequences in California criminal law.  Even the most minor violent act can lead to a violent conviction with serious consequences.  In addition to time in jail or prison, long terms of probation, fines, costly victim restitution and other criminal court consequences, crimes of violence has serious collateral consequences.  Violent crimes have especially harsh immigration consequences, can affect employment opportunities and professional licensing, and can affect gun rights.  

In San Diego, the police and prosecutors are very aggressive in their prosecution of violent crimes, from domestic violence and bar fights up to robbery, rape and homicide.  Moreover, many violent crimes are "strike" offenses under California's "Three Strikes" law and can qualify for greatly enhanced punishments.  If you or a loved one has been charged with a violent crime in San Diego County, you need a passionate, aggressive and experienced criminal defense attorney.

Violent crimes often rely on civilian eyewitness testimony, either from the alleged "victim" or bystanders who happen to see an act of violence.  Violent crimes are less commonly committed in an officer's presence, so cross examination of civilian witness, calling into question the validity of an eye-witness identification and a witness' or victim's credibility are very important to your defense in violent crimes cases.  

Additionally, it today's technological world, cameras are everywhere.  Not only do most people have video camera capabilities on their cell phones, but every convenience store, gas station, ATM, fast food restaurant, bar, liquor store and laundromat will have surveillance cameras that may have captured exculpatory evidence.  It is imperative that you hire an attorney who understands the importance of preserving important evidence and will go above and beyond to investigate the events that led to your arrest and criminal charges.  This way, when it comes time to confront the witnesses against you at a preliminary hearing or at trial, there are no surprises and your San Diego criminal defense attorney can get the mist helpful testimony out of the witnesses on the stand.

Assault is an often misunderstood area of the law.  In California, Assault does not require any physical contact or injury.  Pursuant to PC 240, acting in a way likely to produce injury to another, while also having the present ability to cause the injury is a misdemeanor, subject to up to 6 months in a county jail.  When a deadly weapon or extreme force (force likely to cause great bodily injury) are involved, then aggravated assault is charged.  "Aggravated assault" is a "wobbler" and may be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor.  As a felony, it carries up to three years in California State Prison.  There can be enhancements if a serious injury results or if a firearm was used.  There are many defenses to assault, including self-defense/defense of others, mistaken identity, false accusations, lack of intent and lack of present ability.  If you have been arrested and/or charged with assault in San Diego, contact our office for a Free Consultation to discuss the facts of your case and what defenses might apply.

Under California law, battery is the willful use of force or violence upon another.  PC 242 makes it a misdemeanor to punch, slap, push, shove, trip, kick or otherwise hit another person.  If the use of force or violence is extreme or causes serious injury, "aggravated battery" (PC 243(d)) will be charged.  Aggravated battery is a "wobbler" and can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, with maximum penalties of up to 4 years in state prison and a possible "strike".  Defenses include: lack of intent, self-defense/defense of others, and that the injuries caused were not serious enough to justify an aggravated battery charge or enhancement.

Penal Code section 422 makes it a crime to threaten violence against another person.  PC 422 is a "wobbler" and can be filed as a misdemeanor or felony.  As a felony, PC 422 is a strike.  Even as a misdemeanor, PC 422 can carry a lifetime weapons ban.  Not all threats qualify as criminal threats under the statute.  The threat must be direct, unequivocal, unconditional and place the victim in actual and reasonable fear for their safety.  Threats that are not intended to be taken seriously or threats that are not immediate and direct may not qualify as criminal threats under the California law.  If you or a loved one has been arrested for in San Diego for criminal threats, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Loncar for a free consultation with a San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney.

Pursuant to PC 236 it is a crime to wrongfully detain, restrain or confine another without his or her consent.  False imprisonment is a "wobbler" meaning it can be charged as a misdemeanor, or a felony (if there is violence, a threat or the use of fraud/deceit).  Kidnapping, PC 207, occurs when someone moves another person a substantial distance against their will, by the use of force or fear.  Kidnapping is aggravated if: the victim is under 14, the defendant asks for ransom, the victim suffers a serious injury or the kidnapping takes place during a carjacking.  Aggravated kidnapping carries a life sentence.  If you or a loved one has been charged with kidnapping or false imprisonment, it is imperative that you have a skilled San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney on your side.  These are very serious charges, and prosecutors aggressively seek very harsh penalties in court.

Attempted murder is a very serious charge and is often charged when there was no intention to kill.  Technically, intending to kill another person, and even preparing to do so is not enough to sustain a conviction for attempted murder.  For example, purchasing a weapon, and even driving to someone's home is not enough; putting poison in someone's drink, however, is enough.  First degree attempted murder is punishable by life with the possibility of parole.  Second degree attempted murder is punishable by 5, 7 or 9 years in prison.  As with murder, the difference between first and second degree attempted murder is whether there was premeditation.

Murder is discussed in greater depth in our homicide law page.  PC 187 makes it unlawful to kill another human being with malice aforethought.  First Degree murder is typically charged for intentional killings, killings by use of bombs and other destructive weapons or killings that occur (even unintentionally) during the intentional commission of a felony (felony murder rule).  Second Degree murder is also willful, but not premeditated.  First degree murder can be punishable by death if there are any aggravating circumstances present, including but not limited to: murder of multiple victims, hate crimes, murder of a police officer, judge, firefighter, witness, juror or elected official.  First degree murder is subject to punishment of 25 years to life in prison.  Second degree murder is punishable by 15 years to life.

Click here for more information about California Homicide Law.  Robbery is explained in our California Theft Crimes Lawyer page, and Rape is explained in our San Diego Sex Crimes Attorney page.  Domestic violence cases are unique and are addressed separately on our San Diego Domestic Violence Lawyer page.  Weapon enhancements and offenses are discussed on our San Diego Weapons and Firearms Attorney page.

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a violent crime in San Diego County, you need a skilled, knowledgeable and dedicated San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney on your side to fight for you.  Contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Loncar now for a free consultation.  We can discuss the details of your case, evaluate your defenses and get started on a plan to fight the charges against you and get you the best possible outcome in your San Diego criminal case.

Nicholas M. Loncar, Esq.
San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney
888-200-9454By Nicholas Loncar



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