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San Diego Rideshare Assault and Battery Defense Attorneys


Accused of Assault and Battery as a Rideshare Driver?

Ridesharing services are a popular way for locals, visitors, and tourists to get around San Diego. The services in the area include Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar. Drivers may be working to add to their income, support themselves while at school, or are driving full time. Driving for a rideshare service is a stressful job at the best of times. Drivers have the task of navigating traffic, dealing with drunk, rude, or irritable passengers, or in some cases, defend against accusations of assault and battery. Once charges of assault and battery are filed against you, the nightmare begins.

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Assault and Battery and California Law

Under the California Penal Code, an assault is defined as “an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.” Battery is defined as “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.” These two offenses are often charged together as assault and battery. The penalties imposed in a conviction will reflect whether the accused rideshare driver was charged with a misdemeanor or felony. Penal Code 241.3 outlines the penalties for assault for public transportation providers as follows:

When an assault is committed against any person on the property of, or on a motor vehicle of, a public transportation provider, the offense shall be punished by a fine not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by both the fine and imprisonment.

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Types of Criminal Charges Filed Against Rideshare Drivers

Rideshare passengers may accuse a driver of a range of criminal offenses, including:

  • Simple Assault: This crime is usually a misdemeanor, filed when a passenger accuses a rideshare driver of offensive touching, force, or violence, causing the passenger to fear imminent bodily harm. This offense can be charged even in case of no physical harm, such as threatening to use force against another, with intent, and the ability to commit the act of violence, or an act that inflicted minor injuries.
  • Aggravated Assault: An unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability to commit a violent injury on another person, such as threatening to harm another with a weapon or object, or an assault with then intent to commit a felony crime such as robbery or rape.
  • Felony Assault: In cases in which a weapon was used (which can be any item that could inflict an injury), or an assault in which bodily harm has occurred, is typically filed as a felony offense.
  • Simple Battery: Striking, grabbing, or shoving another person, or attacking a person with a small object are examples of simple battery.
  • Assault and Battery: When a driver is accused of willfully, with intent, assaulting and causing injuries to a passenger, the charges filed will likely be assault and battery.

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Defending Against Assault and Battery Charges

If you are a driver for Uber, Lyft, or Sidecar, who has been arrested and charged with assault and battery, you have the right to a defense attorney. The quality, experience, and knowledge of your lawyer could not be more important. A talented criminal lawyer may use various defenses including, but not limited to:

  • You acted in self-defense, reasonably believing you were in danger.
  • The act never occurred and is a false accusation.
  • The act was performed to defend another person.
  • You had a reasonable fear that your property was going to be damaged, and the act was an effort to protect your property.

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Penalties for Assault and Battery: The Risks.

If convicted, the penalties imposed for assault and battery will reflect the severity of the crime, any aggravated circumstances alleged to have occurred, as well as the criminal record of the accused.

  • Up to 4 years in state prison and fines up to $10,000.
  • Simple assault can lead to up to 6 months in jail and fines up to $1,000.
  • Simple battery can lead to penalties of up to six months in jail, and fines up to $2,000, or probation.

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You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer.

If you drive for Uber, Lyft, or Sidecar and have been accused of assault and battery, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys immediately. James N. Dicks, our firm’s founder, is a former L.A. Police Department investigator, and is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist. For a free consultation to discuss your case, contact us at (760) 630-2000.

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