A Todd Road Jail inmate was accused of assault on a Sheriff’s deputy after he allegedly bit and punched the deputy. According to police, George Lopezwhite, who was being held in the jail on other charges, made threatening statements to the deputy. Lopezwhite spit on the deputy and attacked him when the deputy attempted to handcuff him.
Assault resulted in additional charges
Lopezwhite was charged with resisting arrest and battery on a peace officer, both of which are felonies. Lopezwhite was being held in the jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon arising from an incident last December. While in the jail, Lopezwhite was charged similarly a second time for an attack on another inmate.
Assault can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony under California law. The law provides special enhancements for people who attack public servants, like police officers, corrections officers and firefighters, whether they are on duty or not.
The term “assault” conjures up images of violent conflicts resulting in severe injuries to another person – and often that’s what happens – but the law doesn’t define it that way. A person can be “assaulted” without being injured at all. Under California law, “assault” is a deliberate attempt to injure another person along with the ability to actually injure that person.
When the attempt to injure someone else is successful, it’s more likely that the prosecutor will look for a felony conviction. They’re also more likely to seek felony charges when the victim is a public servant, whether the person is seriously injured or not.
A battery charge often follows in cases like this. Battery is a different crime. Battery is the actual illegal use of force against another person. You can be charged with battery, even if the person is not seriously injured.
Battery against a police officer or corrections officer can result in a felony conviction, so it’s important to have competent representation in court. Robert Helfend has practiced criminal defense in Ventura County and in Southern California courts for more than 30 years, and will take battery cases.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County Assault case.
Photo Credit: Miguel Saavedra, via FreeImages.com