It’s illegal in California to assault someone with the further intent to commit a serious sex crime. Doing so falls under “Assault with intent to commit a felony” in California Penal Code 220 PC.
Assault with intent to commit a felony is a felony charge in itself, carrying up to six years in state prison.
If you or someone you love has been charged with assault with intent to commit a felony, it’s important to speak with an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can review your case, work with you to build your defense and help you navigate the charges against you.
What is ‘Assault with intent to commit a felony?’
In the simplest terms, assault with intent to commit a felony happens when someone assaults someone else before or in the process of committing a sex crime against them. For example, beating another person before raping them.
Assault with intent to commit a felony can apply when done in concert with certain sex crimes, including:
- Rape (including spousal rape, statutory rape, rape in concert, etc.)
- Oral copulation by force or fear
- Lewd acts with a child under 14
- Forcible sexual penetration with a foreign object
In order to convict someone of assault with intent to commit a felony, a prosecutor will have to prove that all of the “elements of the crime” in the case are true. These are the essential facts that must be proven in order for someone to be convicted of a particular criminal offense.
In assault with intent to commit a felony, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant:
- Willfully applied force against the victim.
- Was aware or should have been aware of the force used against the victim.
- Had the ability to apply that force to the victim.
- Was intentionally committing one of the crimes listed above.
Penalties for assault with intent to commit a felony
As mentioned above, assault with intent to commit a felony is a felony. Penalties for a violation of PC 220 typically range from two to four or six years in prison.
Penalties can be increased depending on the facts of the case. For example, if the victim was a minor, the defendant could face up to nine years in state prison, or if the defendant also committed first-degree burglary while also committing assault with intent to commit a felony, they could face up to life in prison.
Defenses against assault with intent to commit a felony charges
There are a number of potential defenses against assault with intent to commit a felony charges. Some of the most common include:
- The defendant did not actually assault the victim.
- The defendant did not intend to commit a sex crime against the victim.
- The assault was not done in order to facilitate a sex crime.
- The victim consented to the assault.
- The defendant was acting in self-defense or defense of another person.
Each defense will require different evidence and legal arguments to be successful. Your Los Angeles criminal defense attorney will be able to help you build the strongest possible defense for your case.
When you are charged with assault with intent to commit a felony, it’s important to work with a criminal defense attorney who has a proven track record in defending sex crimes cases.
An experienced attorney will know the best defenses to use in your case, and will be able to guide you through the criminal justice system.
Attorney Robert M. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience defending clients against charges like assault with intent to commit a felony. He understands the complexities of assault with intent to commit a felony cases, and knows how to build a strong defense for his clients. He will work tirelessly to get the best possible outcome for your case. Call today – 800-834-6434.