There are multiple kinds of assault, but the most common is “simple assault,” which is a misdemeanor and punishable by up to six months in jail. Assault with a deadly weapon is one of the most common felony applications of this charge.
In order to convict you of assault, prosecutors will have to prove four things:
- You did an act that, by its nature, would result in the application of force against someone else;
- You did it willfully;
- When you did it, you were aware that it would result in the application of force against that person; and
- When you acted, you had the ability to apply the force.
It doesn’t matter whether an injury resulted or you actually succeeded in applying force. In other words, the incident doesn’t need to involve physical contact. For example, a person who tries to spit in someone else’s face but fails, could be guilty of assaultive conduct.
“Battery” on the other hand, is when you actually achieve a physical attack, and this is an
independent (often co-occurring) crime. Similar to the legal mechanics of simple assault, you can be found guilty of a battery offense even if you didn’t cause serious bodily injury. All that matters is that you touched a victim in an offensive and unwarranted way.
Every criminal charge has its own unique set of elements, and it is the prosecution’s burden to proof each one beyond a reasonable doubt. It is therefore our practice to meticulously review the charges our clients are facing to determine the strongest attack against them.
Call us today to discuss the specifics of what you or a loved one are charged with, and how we can help you fight against it.