Assault is one of the most common crimes of a violent nature, and the repercussions for such a conviction can come along with too harsh of consequences. An attorney understands that being charged with assault can impact a person’s future opportunities for many years. Being arrested for and accused of a violent crime can be terrifying, especially when there were unusual factors involved with what happened. Perhaps a person was just at the wrong place at the wrong time, were defending themselves, or otherwise made to look like the bad guy. 

If you were accused of assault, you must seek help from a defense attorney who has a reputation for knowledgeable and strategic legal services. You need an attorney who won’t be intimidated by the state. 

The Definition of Assault

When people hear the term assault, they may imagine a very aggressive scene where physical violence took place. However, the legal definition of assault can be quite different, and may not entail any physical harm occurring at all. A person can be arrested and charged with assault, despite not making physical contact. 

In the eyes of the law, assault is the attempt to do physical harm to another. The precise definition of assault can vary based on the state and jurisdiction you live in. In general, most jurisdictions view assault as the threat of impending violence that causes someone to fear for their safety. 

Potential Consequences

The sentences for assault can be overly harsh, due to this act being considered a violent crime. First-time offenders of simple assault may not have to spend time behind bars, but repeated or more serious offenses likely will entail prison. An attorney can help create a defense strategy that hopefully at least minimizes the consequences for an assault conviction. The type of sentence that you endure can be determined through a number of variables, including:

  • The severity of the incident which resulted in assault
  • The degree of harm, injury, or fear that the other person experienced
  • History of past criminal activity (whether violent or not)
  • The level of experience your attorney has representing criminal defense cases

When the Assault was Self Defense

One of the most common strategies used to fight against an assault charge is self defense. Because it is used too often, it is important that plenty of thought and planning goes into using this defense. The accused must show that there was a threat of harm against them, there was a real fear of being hurt, that they didn’t provoke the situation, and there was no opportunity to escape. The more evidence the accused can gather which supports their innocence, the more likely they are to receive a dropped or minimized charge. 

If you have been arrested and now face an assault charge, please seek help from an attorney right away. This isn’t a charge to face solo in the courtroom, as it often requires strategic legal representation to handle correctly. Violent crimes can be complex and the consequences severe. Don’t fight this alone. Let a Newark personal injury lawyer, such as from Rispoli & Borneo, P.C., help protect you and fight for your side of the story.