Often times assault and battery are confused as being the same thing, but the two are actually separate legal concepts that have distinct consequences. Read on to learn about the difference between the two and how working with a criminal defense lawyer will be your best bet if you have been accused of either offense.
What Assault and Battery Charges Mean for You
To put it simply, assault is when an attempt or threat is made against another person and battery is actually, physically contacting another person in a way that is harmful or offensive. Many states have laws that govern more serious assault and battery cases, typically referred to as “aggravated” assault and battery. This is when a person 1) attempts or actually does cause severe injury to another, or 2) causes injury with the use of a deadly weapon. Both assault and battery can be pursued via civil laws, not just criminal laws.
In Arizona, assault can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the specific facts and circumstances. The criminal offense of assault is classified into two distinct types of offenses under Arizona law: (1) misdemeanor assault, and (2) felony assault (“aggravated assault”). Each of these charges can carry several potential types of penalties ranging from probation and counseling to imprisonment and substantial fines.
When you are confronting these potentially life-changing charges, you should refuse to speak to the police or provide them with any information and immediately contact criminal defense lawyer.
Bradford is also facing felony charges, which can hold greater consequences. Aggravated assaults typically qualify as felonies. Simple assaults are typically classified as misdemeanors.
Aggravated Assault v. Assault
Assault with a Deadly Weapon
When a deadly weapon is used during an assault, the crime is classified as “aggravated.” This is the classification regardless of if the weapon caused physical injury. Additionally, threatening someone with a deadly weapon is also considered aggravated assault because the fear involved is fear of more intense injury.
Identity of the Victim
Some assaults become aggravated assaults depending on the status of the victim. Typically states punish assault on police officers, firefighters and teachers as aggravated assault when the victim is performing his or her duty when he or she is assaulted and the perpetrator could conceivably have been aware of the victim’s status.
Assaults based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability of the victim can also constitute aggravated assault.
Intent of Perpetrator
If a perpetrator acted with the intent to cause severe harm or fear of severe harm, the assault can be classified as aggravated.
Degree of Injury to the Victim
Typically when assaults cause serious bodily injury they qualify as aggravated assaults. Injuries that threaten death will qualify as serious, as will those which maim or disfigure the victim. If a method of assault that would normally cause death only causes minor physical injury, some states will still punish the assault.
If you have been accused of assault or aggravated assault, you will want to work with a criminal defense lawyer that can examine the specifics of the crime and prepare a defense for you.
Hire a Lawyer
Because the average person does not have an understanding of the criminal justice process, which comprises a number of complex state and federal laws, it’s always advised that you work with a criminal defense lawyer.
Criminal defense lawyers assist clients as their case moves through the criminal justice process, from pre-trial and through the conclusion of the trial proceedings. In some cases, when a client suspects that they might be charged with a crime a client will make the decision to retain a lawyer before they have even been charged. If you have been involved in a criminal incident and have suspicions that you might need a lawyer, it’s best to hire one as quickly as possible as they will be able to provide you with guidance on how to proceed. The earlier an attorney is involved in a case, the more protection they can offer, and even in times ensure that a suspect does not divulge any potentially incriminating information.
A criminal defense lawyer will also be able to advise a client on if a case can even be brought against their client. In cases where there is insufficient evidence, a lawyer’s main objective will be to have the court drop the charges against a client. There are many avenues of defense that a lawyer can apply, including challenging probable cause, persuading a court to reduce or waive bail, and negotiating a plea bargain to reduce charges to a lesser crime or reduce sentencing.
The role of a criminal defense lawyer will be entirely based on the case that is presented and the type of defense that a client needs. Obtaining the help of a criminal defense lawyer early on in your case can mean the difference between guilty and not guilty.
Ferragut Law Firm Will Defend You
Ferragut Law Firm is a top rated criminal defense law firm based in Phoenix Arizona. We are dedicated exclusively to the practice of criminal law in all state, federal, and city courts throughout the State of Arizona.
Our mission is to achieve the best possible results for our clients through hard work, attention to detail, and aggressive advocacy, while maintaining the highest level of professionalism, integrity, and ethical standards.
We are committed to providing the most aggressive, professional, and effective representation for our clients accused of crimes to ensure that their legal rights are protected and that the best possible results are achieved. Contact us to discuss the details of your case.
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