Assault is commonly defined as an attempt or threat of violence with the intent of causing another person harm. Assault differs from battery , which occurs when the act of violence is carried out. Though assault and battery are separate crimes, the two often occur at the same time, and as a result, they are often charged together. Anyone who threatens to injure someone or tries but fails to injure someone may be charged with assault.
However, there is a lot of ambiguity as to what constitutes a threat or attack. Assault charges often arise out of heated relationships involving people with a lot of animosity for each other, and as a result, the charges are not always legitimate.
If you have been charged with assault, you need to ensure that your legal rights are protected. Please contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can make sure your legal rights are upheld.
In most jurisdictions, aggravated assault is simply an assault where the more serious bodily injury was intended or a deadly weapon was involved. One may also be charged with aggravated assault if the suspect showed a blatant indifference to human life. Aggravated assault often results in harsher penalties than simple assault.
An experienced criminal defense attorney will be familiar with the many types of assault defense arguments, which include but are not limited to the following:
- Consent – The defendant had permission to commit the alleged act.
- Punishment – If the charges stem from an incident involving a child, the defendant may be able to claim the act was for the purpose of punishment.
- Self-defense – Usually, to use this as a defense, the amount of force used has to be reasonable and proportional to the amount of violence it was intended to stop.
- The defense of others – When one person assaults another to prevent that person from committing a violent act, they may be found not guilty of assault. However, as with self-defense, the amount of force and violence had to have been reasonable and proportional to the violence it was intended to stop.
- Prevention of a crime – Some states also allow the use of force to prevent crimes, but again, the amount of violence used to prevent them must be reasonable and proportionate.
- Defense of property – In some states, under certain circumstances, you are legally allowed to assault someone to defend your property.
Good criminal defense lawyers are well acquainted with these defenses and others as they pertain to your state laws. Assault is usually a misdemeanor but may sometimes be treated as a felony, so assault convictions can lead to heavy fines, probation, and even jail time. If you or a loved one has been accused of assault, please contact us for a FREE consultation with a qualified criminal defense attorney who can answer all your questions, examine your case thoroughly, and aggressively fight for your best interests.