Dodgers Fan Sues Owner for $50 Million
California Penal Code Sections 240 and 241 define an assault as “an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.” You can be charged with assault even if there are no injuries to the victim. A simple assault under California Penal Code Sections 240-241 is considered a misdemeanor and carries a fine up to $1,000 and jail time up to six months. A simple battery is defined under California Penal Code Sections 242-243 as “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon another person.” It can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony with a jail sentence of up to 6 months and a fine up to $2,000.
A more serious crime of assault with a deadly weapon (not a firearm) under Penal Code Section 245 is considered a felony. You can be charged with this crime if the police believe you assaulted someone with the intent to commit bodily harm with a deadly weapon other than a firearm. If convicted, you can face up to four years in state prison and a fine up to $10,000. If you possess a firearm even if you did not use it to cause bodily harm, you can be charged with an assault with a firearm, which is also a felony. This also carries up to a four year state prison sentence and a fine up to $10,000 under California Penal Code Section 244. If the crime took place on a school ground, or the victim was a public transportation driver, or the crime was gang related, the sentencing can be elevated. If you are convicted of a felony assault, you also face a strike under the California three strikes law.
Documents filed on Friday September 9, 2011, by attorneys for the Los Angeles Dodger Stadium beating victim Bryan Stow in Los Angeles Superior Court estimating their client’s medical costs to be more than $50 million as a result of the beating of Stow at the Dodger Stadium parking lot after the home game victory against the San Francisco Giants on March 31, 2011. The lawsuit was filed by plaintiff Stow and his children against Dodger’s owner Frank McCourt and 13 team entities on May 24, 2011 alleging assault, battery, negligence, premises liability, negligent hiring, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Police say that Stow was beaten because he was a Giant’s fan that had on Giant’s gear at the game. Two suspects who have been arrested and are in custody. Stow remains in a coma in a San Francisco hospital. The trial is estimated to take a week.
Defense attorneys have filed papers challenging some of the claims and requesting that the punitive damages be dismissed because the complaint does not state which 14 named defendants actions account for punitive damages. Other issues defense attorneys are challenging are the sale of alcohol at the stadium, cancellation of the half-off bear promotion after the beating, financial mismanagement by McCourt and alleged gang presence at the stadium. A hearing on the Dodger Team’s motions are set for September 30, 2011, before Judge Khan, who replaced Judge Recana as a result of the attorneys for the Dodgers request.
If you are charged with an assault and/or battery in California, you should not attempt to deal with the police directly. It is recommended that you hire a California criminal defense attorney to defend you immediately. The attorney can use defenses such as your charge does not fall within the three strikes law if you are charged with a felony assault, also argue self-defense or defense of others to get your charges reduced, obtain probation, community service or attendance of a drug or alcohol treatment program or get your case dismissed.
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