Depending on the exact circumstances, an assault can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. While a conviction for assault can have a harmful impact on your life, an experienced defense attorney could help you defeat these charges.
Do not attempt to defend yourself against these charges on your own. A Junction City assault lawyer could ensure you have the best chance of beating the charges against you.
In order to prove assault, a prosecutor must prove certain elements. The first element is the existence of an intentional act or threat. Intent is important because accidental or uncontrollable actions or words do not qualify as assault.
Furthermore, these acts or threats must cause a person to fear imminent harm. To be guilty of assault, a person must also have the ability to carry out the threat that is allegedly made. Notably, someone can be charged with assault even if no actual physical harm takes place.
Assault charges are classified as either “simple” or “aggravated.” Simple assault is a misdemeanor, and a conviction requires proof of only the basic elements of the offense. An assault becomes aggravated if it occurs with a deadly weapon, with the intent to commit a different felony, or while disguised in an effort to hide identity. While simple assault is a misdemeanor, aggravated assault is a felony offense under the law.
It is not unusual for the terms “assault” and “battery” to be used interchangeably. However, each of these terms represents a unique criminal offense according to state law.
There is an important difference between battery and assault. While assault places a person in fear or apprehension of physical harm, battery goes a step further. Battery requires actual physical contact from one person to another. This could include anything from punching someone to spitting in their face. An experienced attorney in Junction City could highlight the differences between assault and battery charges.
When a Junction City attorney initially approaches an assault case, there are multiple defenses that could be appropriate. Each case is unique, which means not every defense will apply.
A common defense for any crime involving violence or threats of violence is self-defense. A person has the right to use physical force to defend themselves if they reasonably believe they have been threatened. This concept applies to assault charges as well. In addition to defending themselves, a person could also rely on this defense if they were protecting others from harm.
Assault requires the intent to commit the criminal act. This means that accidental words or actions cannot qualify as assault. The same is true for words or actions that are out of a person’s control. For example, a sudden seizure that causes a person to swing their arm at another person is not an intentional act.
While assault charges should be taken seriously, it should also be understood that a conviction is never guaranteed. With the right approach to your defense strategy, you could prevail at trial or even see these charges dismissed.
The right attorney plays a pivotal role in developing a winning defense strategy. Contact a Junction City assault lawyer to learn more.