Every state has their own legal definition of criminal assault as defined in the state’s criminal code. While there may be several small differences in types of criminal assault from state to state, there are often several common characteristics of this type of offense.
What is Criminal Assault?
As the name suggests, criminal assault is usually seen as intentional conduct that causes or attempts to cause some degree of physical harm towards another. Because an attempt to cauase physical harm is usually included in the legal definition of assault, physical conduct and actual harm are not necessarily required in order for conduct to be considered assault. However, a mere verbal threat, without some other additional conduct that shows an intent to commit physical harm, is often not enough to constitute criminal assault, though it’s possible that a verbal threat may fall under a different type of criminal conduct.
Simple vs. Aggravated Assault
While each state may make distinctions between types of assault differently, there are often different types of assault with enhanced penalties for conduct that results in more serious injuries or harm. A simple assault may be a relatively minor act with minor harm, such as a punch, slap, or kick that may result in a bruise, redness, or minor irritation. Different types of aggravated assault often include a weapon being involved, or very significant physical conduct resulting in major injuries. Aggravated assault would be considered a felony, and some states further have different grades of aggravated assault, classifying conduct based on the circumstances and injury caused. Regardless of whether a person is charged aggravated or simple assault, consulting with a criminal defense attorney is extremely important to know how to best try and fight these charges.
Legal Penalties for Assault
Because each state defines legal assault differently, each state also has their own fines and penalties for a conviction for assault. Penalties may include fines, probation, anger management or domestic violence courses, firearm forfeiture, short jail sentences, and even lengthy prison sentences depending on the type of crime. It is extremely important to find a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney when facing assault charges in order to know all of the possible consequences in addition to possible legal defenses to these sorts of charges. For first time offenders, many states offer diversionary programs for more minor criminal charges that may result in a dismissal of charges, and if you are in Germany, you can contact this criminal drug lawyer in Munich. In some circumstances, it may be possible to show that the person charged with assault was actually acting in self-defense in committing the act. In other instances, a person may be charged with a serious type of assault, when really the conduct was relatively minor and the victim lied or exaggerated about what really happened.
Being faced with criminal charges is always unnerving and stressful. However, with legal advice from a criminal defense attorney, it is possible to combat the charges and make decisions together in order to protect the defendant’s rights and minimize any harm from a criminal conviction.