Escondido Criminal Defense Attorney


Just 30 miles northeast of downtown San Diego, Escondido is one of the oldest cities in San Diego County. With a population just shy of 150,000, the city is growing quickly. It prides itself on having something for all ages, including a variety of youth programs, affordable housing, and great retirement community. Because it’s further inland compared to other San Diego County cities, it enjoys a more typical Mediterranean climate and is warmer in the summers than places on the coast.

Like anywhere in the U.S., Escondido suffers from crime. From violent crimes, including murder, battery, and assault to property crimes, such as burglary and arson, the Escondido police do their best to catch the offenders.

If you’ve been charged with a crime, you should call an Escondido criminal defense attorney. Even if it’s a misdemeanor and feels like a minor problem, the consequences for you and your loved ones could be serious. Any type of criminal record could set you back for years in terms of your education and career.

Assault & Battery Criminal Defense Charges

Sometimes situations between friends or loved ones get out of hand. Shouting matches may escalate to pushing and shoving. The neighbors may overhear and call the cops. Or if the issue arises in public, the police may be on site quickly. Whatever the case, situations of assault and battery don’t always arise because people are malicious and violent. Sometimes they happen because of a lack of communication and poor restraint.

Many people often hear the terms assault and battery used together, but they’re two different offenses:

  • Battery: The actual use of force or violence against a person.
  • Assault: The attempt at violence together with the ability to follow through with that threat.

Examples of battery:

  • Two friends are at a sports bar and get into an argument regarding the best baseball team. The argument gets out of hand and one friend shoves the other.
  • A man walks up to a woman on an empty street and demands she give him money. She refuses and he hits her and then knocks her to the ground.
  • One person is taunting another about winning an award they were both up for, waiving the statute in the other person’s face. The runner-up slaps the award out of the winner’s hands.

These situations would be assault, instead of battery, if:

  • Two friends at a sports bar get into an argument over the best baseball team. One of them gets so angry that he shouts “If you say the Yankees are the best team one more time, I’ll punch you!”
  • A man walks up to a woman on an empty street and demands she give him money. He’s significantly taller and heavier than her. He says “If you don’t give me your purse, I’ll hurt you.”
  • When one person taunts another about winning the award they were both up for, the runner-up pulls out a knife and says “Bring it up one more time and see what happens to you.”

In each of these scenarios, a person was threatened with violence by someone who appears to be physically able to carry out that threat.

Burglary Charges in California

Like assault and battery, burglary and robbery are two distinct crimes that are often considered similar. These crimes are defined as:

  • Burglary: Entering a residence or a building with the intent to commit a felony.
  • Robbery: Using force or threats to take someone else’s property from them.

Burglary can be broken down into two offenses, residential or commercial.

Residential burglary also referred to as first-degree burglary, is when someone enters a home with the intent to commit a felony. The felony does not have to be stealing. The home can be a house, houseboat, camper, hotel room, or apartment. Anywhere that can be considered an inhabited dwelling. First-degree burglary is a felony, and a defendant faces up to 6 years in prison.

Commercial burglary is second-degree burglary and occurs when someone enters a building or structure where no one usually lives in order to commit a felony. The building can be a school, local business, or a bank – anywhere other than a home. This can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances and the defendant’s criminal history.

It’s important to note that residential burglary falls under California’s Three Strikes Law, but commercial burglary does not.

Robbery Charges in California

Robbery can also be broken down into a first- or second-degree crimes. First-degree robbery takes place in a home, building, for-hire vehicle, or at an ATM. All other forms of robbery are charged in the second-degree.

First-degree robbery is a felony punishable by up to 9 years in prison and falls under the Three Strikes Law. Second-degree robbery is a felony punishable up to 5 years in prison.

Contact an Escondido Criminal Defense Attorney

Dealing with any criminal charge is more than a headache – it’s a scary and intimidating situation. No matter the offense or what evidence the prosecution claims to have against you, you have the right to a strong defense in court. The best way to defend yourself is to hire an experienced attorney like Jessica McElfresh.

Jessica understands how much being charged and convicted of an offense can hurt you and your family. She also fully believes in your right to an attorney and to defend yourself. She’ll learn every detail of your case in order to build you the best defense she can under the law. She’ll then strive to minimize any consequences of a conviction to ensure you aren’t needlessly away from your family or financially hurt.

Contact McElfresh Law today at (858) 756-7107 for a free consultation.