Assault Charges

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The process of assault litigation can be clear-cut or can be very convoluted. In this way, it is like most other criminal offense charges. However, assault law involves other complexities that can tangle up a case.


The law definition of assault in the United States fluctuates. In recent times the assault law has become a deterrent to committing battery. Assault is any attempt or sign of intent to execute an act of physical violence upon another person. Such actions may be:

  • Making as if to punch another person
  • Aiming a gun at another person or their property (loaded or not - real or not)
  • Objects thrown
  • Verbalized thoughts of future actions (with capacity to perform)

This person must be aware of the insinuating action to qualify as assault. This distinction was created to remove emotions from further complicating individuals’ intent. This is called apprehension. The next step after assault is the actual physical violence, and when an individual is guilty of both charges, they are even punishable by a felony. If intentional serious bodily harm, with or without a weapon was inflicted or intended, the prosecution can result in an aggravated assault sentence.

Litigation Process

Much of the information that is important for a judge’s decision in an assault case is based on witness accounts and interpretations. Many times these accounts are unreliable because of the person’s age or state of mind. Other times there are no witnesses other than the two involved parties, and they can disagree on actions, words and the implications and intent of both.

How to Charge

The process for charging another person with assault is like any other an individual may make. It is especially important to hire an attorney for assaults. Specialized assault and battery attorneys are aware of all state specific laws and intricacies of assault law. Once contacted they should be provided with:

  • All medical information
  • All insurance details
  • Names of available witnesses
  • An account of the even in full
  • A list of any damages to oneself or property

After an assessment is made of the case by the attorney, they will provide advice on whether to drop charges make a settlement or continue with a trial.

How to Defend

Assault can occur in many different ways, and because of this an assault defense can be successful in many different ways. However, there are a few forms of assault defense that are often the most successful because they prove the assailants actions to be lawful and in some cases useful. By providing a specialized assault and battery attorney with the necessary information a solid case for the assailant can usually be made. The following is vital to an attorney:

  • Pertinent medical records
  • Insurance claims
  • Names and statements from witnesses
  • Testimony from both parties, police, and others
  • Accurate statement of other economic damages

After the attorney assesses the case, the defense will be created. There are several specific reasons why some assaults are acceptable. The defense will be formed around the one that most closely fits the reasoning of the assailants’ individual action. These legalities vary from state to state and this will be accounted for. Arguments for a legal assault are:

  • Defense of oneself, one’s property or another person
  • It was consented
  • Crime prevention

Within each there is a wide variety of possible interpretations, making witness accounts essential. The actual action deemed an assault by the accuser might even be interpreted in various ways. In such cases of misinterpretation, many times an attorney can have the charges dropped or case dismissed.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice or representation,
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