Assault is one of the most common criminal charges that lawyers have to deal with. The definition of assault varies from state to state but it is generally defined as an act of inflicting physical harm or a threat to commit such action to another person. In many instances, assault is committed at the spur of the moment due to anger. Depending on the nature of the incident, an assault lawyer can help in obtaining the best possible outcome for the case.
Simple assault typically occurs between spouses in a situation that is often called domestic violence. It also occurs between kids and their parents or guardians, among siblings, among friends, or between two persons unknown or unrelated to each other. A simple assault comes into the picture during bar fights or parking lot brawls after heated discussion or a fight that leads to violence.
When it happens, assault appears to be simple enough but the damages can destroy a person’s future. For a student, an assault charge may result in some form of disciplinary action at school. For an employee, it can result in a loss of a job apart from the negative impact on a person’s reputation. A lawyer who is experienced in assault and battery cases will be able to provide the best advice on the options available to obtain the best possible outcome.
When a person is charged or convicted for assault, the maximum penalty is usually 2 years. However, if it is a repeat charge or if the accused has a long criminal record of assault and battery, the penalty will more likely be a 2-year sentence and probation. When a simple assault is repeated it is often called harassment which is a more serious charge.
Many states require a person who is convicted of assault to attend anger management classes. In some domestic violence cases, simple assault charges may be dismissed if the accused attends anger management classes. He is also allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of summary disorderly conduct. It is important to attend anger management classes otherwise; the conviction will remain on record throughout life. A clean criminal record is very important because it can make a big difference between being hired for a job or not.
There are instances when an assault is called a battery. Battery is defined as an act that uses intentional force or violence on another person. An example is pushing or punching a person or striking a person with a weapon or dangerous object. In order for a defendant to be convicted of battery, there must be a serious physical injury or substantial bodily harm with a serious risk of death or serious injury to a limb or body part.
There must be evidence that the accused has intentionally threatened an attack that has caused a person to be in fear of his life. However, defendants often claim self-defence or defence of others to avoid prison. Another possible defence is the lack of criminal intent to harm another person and the alleged victim started the confrontation.