Being arrested for assault can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, particularly if you're unfamiliar with the legal classifications of this offense. Various levels of assault charges exist, and the type you're charged with largely depends on the specifics of the incident.
Keep reading to learn more and contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 to request a free legal consultation if you are facing these or other criminal charges.
The Six Common Types of Assault Charges
Most legal jurisdictions identify six primary assault charges:
- Simple assault,
- Aggravated assault,
- Assault with a deadly weapon,
- Sexual assault,
- Vehicular assault,
- Felony assault.
Depending on the case details, the prosecution can classify these assaults as misdemeanors or felonies. Convictions might result in imprisonment, hefty fines, or both.
Breaking Down Simple Assault
Simple assault is generally defined as an attempt or threat to cause physical harm to another, provided the individual possesses the capability to carry out that harm. A classic example would be throwing a stone at someone during a disagreement. It's crucial to differentiate between assault and battery; while assault pertains to the threat or attempt, battery concerns the actual physical contact.
Certain jurisdictions further categorize simple assault into degrees, ranging from first to third, based on the severity.
The Dynamics of Aggravated Assault
Aggravated assault is an escalated form of simple assault, characterized by specific aggravating conditions. These might include causing significant bodily injury, maiming, or assaulting minors or public servants.
Defining Assault with a Deadly Weapon
This form of assault involves threatening or attempting harm using an object that can potentially cause death. While firearms and knives are typical examples, unconventional items like rocks, bottles, and even attack dogs can be considered deadly, depending on the circumstances.
The classification of an object as a 'deadly weapon' can vary among states and is often left to the discretion of the court, based on case specifics.
Shedding Light on Sexual Assault
The term 'sexual assault' might be used interchangeably with 'rape' in some jurisdictions. Generally, it pertains to non-consensual physical contact with intimate body parts, such as the genital area, buttocks, or breasts. Acts of sexual assault frequently arise in domestic violence situations.
Understanding Vehicular Assault
Some states define vehicular assault as causing bodily harm to another person due to reckless driving. An intoxicated individual causing an accident that injures a passenger might face charges of both DUI and vehicular assault.
Grasping Felony Assault
This term is typically reserved for the most grievous assault cases, leading to felony charges. Felony assault can encompass severe forms of the previously mentioned types, like extreme cases of aggravated or vehicular assault.
What to Do if You Are Charged with Assault in Southern California
Recognizing the differences among these assault categories is crucial for anyone facing such charges. Every situation is unique, and the assistance of a competent legal firm like Law Office of Michael L. Fell can be invaluable. For expert guidance on your specific circumstances, reach out at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation.