Simple Assault Lawyers

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What Is Simple Assault?

Simple assault is a criminal offense that is punishable by incarceration and/or a fine.


In most states, simple assault is a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is a criminal offense characterized by a shorter period of incarceration, usually less than 1 year. Simple assault becomes a felony when it is coupled with serious bodily harm or a prohibited weapon such as a gun or knife.


Types of Simple Assault

There are two forms of simple assault. The first form of assault is battery. Battery is the offensive touching of another person. With this form of simple assault, the perpetrator need only intend to make contact with another person. The perpetrator does not need to intend that the contact to be painful or offensive. Rather, if the victim reasonably finds the contact to be injurious or offensive, the contact qualifies as battery assault. An example of battery assault is an individual punching another person.


The second form of assault is intent to frighten the victim. With this form of simple assault, the perpetrator does not need to even touch the victim. Rather, the perpetrator does a threatening act that causes the victim to experience reasonable apprehension of imminent bodily harm. For example, an individual pointing a loaded gun at another person would be an assault under this second definition.


Defenses to Simple Assault

Below are common defense theories to simple assault:

Do I Need an Attorney for a Simple Assault Charge?

If you have been charged with simple assault, you face potentially serious jail time. In addition, any arrests or convictions will remain on your permanent record. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you understand the nature of your charges, explore all of your legal options, and fight for your rights in court. 

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Last Modified: 10-12-2016 10:20 PM PDT

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