Assault is a serious crime to be accused of. The penalties are often harsh, and there is a risk that you could be fined or imprisoned in some cases. While simple assault or assault and battery are just Class I misdemeanors, even that carries a potential mandatory sentence of at least six months.
Assaults can quickly become felony offenses. In either misdemeanor or felony offense cases, it’s your right to take steps to avoid a conviction and to defend yourself.
What are the differences between simple assault and assault and battery?
Simple assault is a threat of or attempted injury of another person. Assault and battery combines elements of assault, which don’t necessarily require physical contact, with battery, which does. Someone who is accused of assault and battery is being accused of actually harming another person.
When does a misdemeanor assault become a felony offense?
An assault becomes a Class 6 felony if a person intentionally chooses someone to be a victim of assault and battery due to their race, gender or other protected class. The penalty for this is at least six months in prison. Additionally, if the person who is assaulted or battered is a police officer, someone working in the Department of Juvenile Justice or other protected professional, the assault will be classed as a Class 6 felony with a mandatory minimum sentence of six months.
When is battery a misdemeanor?
By law, battery is a Class I misdemeanor with a 15-days in jail as a penalty if the battery involves a victim who works in a school system or is a person working in medical care.
What should you do if you are accused of either misdemeanor or felony assault or assault and battery?
Both of these charges are serious. Depending on the specifics of your case, you could be looking at spending time in jail or prison as well as facing other penalties.
Sometimes, the facts about your case may be blurry or what really happened may not be clear. Your defense should be built to help you make sure you don’t face unfair penalties and that you have an opportunity to defend yourself against the allegations.