Misdemeanor assault, or “simple assault,” is basically an attempt to commit a battery. It can also be defined as any act that is made with the intent to create a reasonable fear of injury in the victim. An example of misdemeanor assault is where a person swings their fist at a person intending to create a fear of injury in the victim.
Actual physical contact is not necessary in order to find a person guilty of misdemeanor assault. Also, attempted contact that is considered to be offensive can result in assault charges, even if the act is not violent or physically harmful in nature.
Misdemeanor assault may be treated differently depending to the laws of individual states, as well as the factual circumstances surrounding the assault. In general, misdemeanor assault charges can result in the following legal penalties:
In addition, a judge may also prescribe rehabilitative courses in some cases. For example, the defendant may be required to attend mandatory anger management courses. Also, punishments for misdemeanor assault may increase with repeat offenses.
Misdemeanor assault convictions may often be expunged from one’s record if they are eligible.
A person who is charged with misdemeanor assault may have a number of defenses that apply to their situation. Some defenses to misdemeanor or simple assault include:
Felony assault, or aggravated assault, is a more serious crime than misdemeanor assault. Misdemeanor assault may be “elevated’ or raised to aggravated assault if:
Aggravated assault results in more serious penalties than simple assault, such as increased fines and possible time in a federal prison for a period of more than one year.
The laws of each state may vary in terms of how they treat misdemeanor and felony assaults. In some states, some misdemeanor assault charges can result in penalties that are more similar to felony assault penalties.
Misdemeanor assault can result in permanent charges on one’s criminal record. As in any criminal case, persons charged with misdemeanor assault have a legal right to an attorney. An experienced criminal lawyer can help in determining whether a defense is available or whether the charges may be expunged later.
Last Modified: 05-29-2017 11:26 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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