What is an Assault Case?
An assault refers to a criminal act of intentional placement of another party in a situational apprehension of offensive contact or bodily harm. However, it is worth noting that different states and jurisdictions have different definitions of assault and the parameters and penalties resulting from an assault case.
However, there are some basic properties of an assault case that almost every jurisdiction follows. Some of these properties include:
- It must be intentional, not accidental. The perpetrator should have the intent of creating a state of awareness or apprehension.
- The victim must be aware of the offense or harm that would take place. During the case, the prosecutor must prove the victims’ injuries or why the victim believed the perpetrator of the assault would offend or harm them.
- A victim’s belief that the defendant would have hurt them should be reasonable. It must depict the sense of imminent threat to the physical wellbeing of the victim. The threat can’t be based on future actions, and it should be more than a verbal threat (however, there are some exceptions to this).
- The perpetrator should exhibit a clear and present intent to offend or harm the victim through physical action.
Below are some examples of assault cases that can be presented in a court of law in most states:
- Mimicking the act of kicking, punching, or hitting the victim
- An attempted spitting incident on the victim
- Pointing either a loaded or unloaded gun at the victim
- Moving or swinging a deadly or non-deadly weapon towards the victim in a way that depicts the intention of hitting the victim with the object
What are the Different Types of Assault Cases?
There are different types of assault cases depending on the severity of the actions and intentions of the perpetrator during the assault. The most common classifications of assault cases include:
A common assault refers to an action that threatens the victim’s safety but doesn’t result in actual bodily harm. It encompasses actions of pushing, spitting, kicking, or punching a person, which doesn’t result in actual bodily harm or retain slight amounts of bodily harm. In some cases, threats involving hurting a person are included in a common assault charge. In most states, the penalty for common assault is a maximum of two years in prison.
Assault Resulting in Slight Bodily Harm
If, during an assault, the victim sustains some injuries, then you could be charged with an assault causing bodily harm. It is worth noting that the injuries sustained from the assault do not have to be serious. Injuries such as bruises or scratches are enough to sustain assault charges. Besides, mental health issues or trauma emanating from an assault can also hold grounds in this type of assault charge. Here, the maximum penalty is usually five years of prison time.
An aggravated assault refers to an assault that involves causing grievous bodily harm to the victim. The description entails an assault with a deadly weapon such as a gun or an assault with the intention or of threats to rape or kill. In some instances, a sexual assault falls into this category. In most states, an aggravated assault charge means that the defendant carries both state and federal charges. For such a charge to stick, there must be sustainable injuries such as a wound, slit, or broken body parts. In this type of assault, the punishment may last anywhere between 7 to 14 years of prison time.
If you or your loved one is facing any assault charges, you should seek an assault attorney. The reason behind this is the serious legal implications that result from an assault charge. Assault charges are serious and should not be taken lightly. You stand a better chance of defending yourself when you have a criminal assault lawyer because the attorney can arrange some bargain deals in your favor. Besides, the attorney will offer you legal advice that can help in your defense.