Misdemeanor Guide

Misdemeanor Assault

Misdemeanor assault is normally when a person instills the fear of harm into someone. It is charged as a misdemeanor offense in most cases. This will vary dependant on the state the person facing charges is located. Some states charge it as simple assault and have that as there least harsh crime.

Other states have first degree assault, second degree assault and third degree assault where the first degree assault is normally the most serious conviction. First Degree Assault is a Class 3 felony and a mandatory 10 years in Prison. Second Degree Assault is a Class four felony and up to 5 years in Prison. Third Degree Assault is a Class one Misdemeanor with up to two years in Prison or jail.

When is assault considered a felony?
An assault is normally charged as a felony when there are weapons involved and or severe physical harm is caused. When this occurs the prosecution will normally try charging the person with additional charges. Battery is one example of an additional charge.

Battery or on more serious felony cases aggravated battery is charged when a person is wounded from the unpleasant incident or there body is hurt. Typically a person convicted of a felony assault will face at least one year in the State Prison if not up to several years as well as extended probation and very high fines.

Repeat assault offenses
Even if it is a person's first offense if it was a violent offense sentencing is going to be harsh. A person will most likely face jail time and or a large probation period with a lot of contact with a probation officer. Second offenses are typically charged automatically as a felony since these crimes usually because injury and pressure emotionally to the person hurt.

It may be hard for an attorney to have the charges lessened if the person is a repeat offender unless they can establish factors such as prior threats from the other person or self-defense. If it is considered a Heat of Passion assault which means that you were provoked by the other person then the charges are normally lessened because it was provoked by the other person and the judge will take this factor into consideration.

Extenuating circumstances
If a person commits assault and battery against a family or household member they are typically charged with a Class one misdemeanor for the first offense. If it is on a child social services will do a check and evaluate to see if everything else is ok and what other risks are in the home. If there are no other issues in the household they normally recommend family counseling and put the person on probation. Even if a person is not convicted of child abuse charges a persons name can be added to the Child Abuse Registry which can inhibit working with children or disabled elderly in the future.

If you are faced with the unfortunate situation of a charge for a misdemeanor assault or felony assault it is imperative to contact a local attorney who is knowledgeable in defending this type of case. Your freedom is at stake and any charges will cause serious consequences that not only involve jail or prison time, fines and probation but a mark on your record against your character and that is definitely worth defending!