Learning About Criminal Law Proceedings

Arrested For Assault: How To Cope

If you've been accused of a violent crime like assault, failing to take the charges seriously could be a big mistake. There are crimes, and then there are violent crimes. Assault falls into a category that has a huge impact on your punishment, plea bargains, and bail issues. Read on to find out more about this serious charge and what to expect.

Defining Assault

Many people are under a mistaken impression of what assault really is. The first thing that comes to some people's minds is a slap or punch, but that level of contact is not necessary. In fact, you don't have to touch a person to assault them. The key is how the alleged victim feels as a result of an interaction. If you cause another to feel in fear of being physically harmed, that might be assault even if you never act. Assault might be thought of as a threat to do harm. It's easy to see the reasoning behind this way of looking at assault – it means charges can be brought before a physical act occurs. To give you a better idea of no-contact assault, see these examples:

  1. Two people meet in a bar and begin to argue. One person balls up their fist and pulls back their arm as if to strike the other.
  2. An estranged couple meets in a park and one party takes out a weapon and begins to handle it in an aggressive manner.
  3. On a subway platform, a person lunges suddenly at a person standing near the opening, as if to push them in front of the train.

If you've been accused of assault and you never intended any harm, you will need a good defense lawyer to prove your intentions were innocent. In most cases, no-contact assault is not nearly as serious as when contact is actually made.

Defining Aggravated Assault

In some cases, making violent physical contact may be considered a felony. It might not matter how seriously injured the alleged victim is, any time contact is made the courts will sit up and take notice. In certain cases in which the victim suffered exceedingly serious injuries, an assault charge can be trumped up to attempted murder. The key to defending yourself against assault charges, other than having a good criminal defense attorney on your side, is to show that you yourself felt threatened and you had no choice but to act as you did to defend yourself. Speak to a lawyer to find out more.

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