Crime rate in the US has fairly increased as a result of poverty, homelessness, increasing debt and terrorism. Even though guns have been banned from being owned by civilians, the crime rate and assault rate doesn’t seem to decline, because people still own illegal weapons and often commit crimes and harm the innocent.
The punishment for assault needs to be severe, and an example must be set amongst violators as to how they will be punished if they crossed the line. But sometimes, a simple assault charge can cut some slack to people because the consequence of it isn’t too severe.
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Assault and Battery
The legal definition of assault is the intentional physical harm caused by one person to another. Causing intentional threat to another person, so much that they fear for their life is called an assault. There is a thin line though; even if the person didn’t manage to physically harm the other person because they escaped, but attempted to harm them will also be considered an example of assault.
For the longest time, assault and battery were considered separate crimes, however, most states now consider it as one. Where assault is intending to harm the other person or creating fear in their eyes, battery is actually harming the other person. Assault and battery is referred to as threatening AND making harmful physical contact with them.
Penalties for Assault
Whether countries or states have a distinction between assault and battery, the penalties for such a crime are severe. For example, a felony assault is punishable by 10 years in prison whereas a misdemeanor is punishable by one year imprisonment. The basic rule is that minor misdemeanors are punishable by less than a year, whereas an actual felony assault is punishable by more than a year.
An aggravated first degree assault which included the use of a deadly weapon has the perpetrator imprisoned for at least 25 years and up to $5,000 in fines.
The penalties for battery range from misdemeanor charges with less than 30 days in jail to substantial lifetime imprisonment. States usually describe the possible range of sentences in their laws.
Simple Assault Examples
This is when a person deliberately harms a person, with or without a weapon, and whether the victim is physically harmed or not. The deliberate attempt of causing harm to someone is called simple assault.
For example, Morgan is walking down the street with a glass bottle of soda in his hand. From the other side Alice crosses him- she does fear for her life because of Morgan’s criminal reputation- but they simply walk by without Morgan attempting to do anything to her. That’s NOT assault. However, if while passing by, Morgan swings the bottle and attempts to hit on her head, but Alice escapes, that will be an assault. Even though Alice escaped and didn’t get physically harmed, Morgan INTENDED to harm her, therefore it’s an assault.
Types of Assault
An assault isn’t always harming the other person out of spite or rebellion, there are different types of physical assaults, other than simple assault, that are charged differently in the court of law.
This is when an extreme version of the simple assault is carried out, usually with a weapon, and the degree of harming the victim is extreme. The weapon has to have the capability of taking a life such as a gun or a dagger; other objects like bricks or rocks are only considered as a deadly weapon if used in such a manner.
A sexual assault makes a person fear that they will be violated sexually or be a victim of rape, molestation, sodomy or other sex crimes. The highest form of sexual assault is raping a person.
As opposed to all other assaults that are done physically, verbal assault is harming a person through oral words that may later on affect their emotional health.
How to beat a Simple Assault Charge?
If someone is charged with a simple assault crime, lawyers advise them to plead guilty. By doing this, the person admits to the simple assault and is open to whatever punishment the judge gives him. If the assault is of failed battery; meaning the criminal intended to harm the person but failed to do so, and the victim was not physically harmed in any way, then the person could plead guilty for a lesser sentence.
For instance, there are several plea options that may help you beat a simple assault charge against you:
Sentencing with no jail-time: This is often granted as a first time simple assault charge, especially to a person who has a clean record. This means that the defendant spends the sentence on probation, and if he violates the rules of probation or commits some other crime, he will then be punished.
Sentence with jail time: If the defendant already has a criminal record, they will have to agree to spend some time in jail for their simple assault charge. The sentence may not be very long, but there might not be a way to get out of this otherwise.
Challenge evidence: If you’re sure that the simple assault charge against you is false, you can challenge the evidence presented against you. Either one of these things must be true for you to be convicted:
- Inflicting fear of bodily harm on someone else
- Verbal threats or abuse
- Causing bodily harm
- Acting with intent
- Knowingly and recklessly endangering another person
- Threatened with any item that may be a deadly weapon
If none of the above conditions apply to your case, you can easily get out of a simple assault charge against you.
Whether the other person was harmed or not, you intended to commit a simple assault, which is enough to drag you to court. The punishment for simple assault is real, but if the other person escaped and wasn’t harmed at all, you can look for less harsh punishments and a small amount of jail time.
To beat a simple assault charge, your lawyer will advise you on different options based on your particular situation. If you’re slammed with an assault charge, you should hire a defense attorney as soon as possible to mitigate your case and beat the charge.