ASSAULT, VARIATIONS, AND DEFENSES
Assault occurs when one:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly, causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse;
- Intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse;
- Intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
The level of the charge in an Assault depends on whom the Assault was alleged against, the type of assault that was alleged and whether you have been charged with any prior assaults.
An assault causing bodily injury is generally a misdemeanor. However, if it is against a family member (even a girlfriend is considered a family member for this statute), then it is considered family violence.
Family Violence cases are even more serious than some other assault charges for a couple of reasons:
- They are stackable offenses; meaning that your fist one is a misdemeanor and your second one is a felony.
- A finding of Family Violence will result in the loss of your ability to carry firearms.
- A finding of Family Violence could result in the loss of custody of your children.
Aggravated Assault is the same definition as above, but also includes the exhibition or use of a deadly weapon.
There are a number of defenses to the charge of Assault. Such as, self defense, complete denial, and consent. Some of the factors that are considered in evaluating a case are:
- Did you make a statement?
- Did the complaining witness make a statement?
- Did the police or other persons take photos?
- Is there video surveillance?
- Does the complaining witness still want to pursue charges?
These are just some of the factors that we need to evaluate. Each case is unique and we need to become familiar with the facts of your case, so we can understand what defenses you may have available to you.
Assault is one of the scarier crimes to me. This is because, I see so many innocent people getting arrest for assault everyday. All it takes is for someone to call the police, make a claim that you hit, pinch, pushed, choked or physically hurt them in some way, and an officer to believe them, for you to get arrested. Yes, this is one of the few crimes, where someone can just say things to get you arrested. There may not even be any evidence of any crime, other than the alleged victim’s testimony.