Within the span of a single year, about 810,825 aggravated assaults occurred in the US. If you were recently charged with assault and battery, it helps to have a plan. Otherwise, you might find yourself facing serious charges.
Not sure what to do when charged with battery? What exactly is assault and battery, anyway?
Keep reading to find out. After reading this guide, you can build a plan for your defense. Otherwise, you could make a mistake that will impact your future.
Read on to learn what to do after receiving assault and battery charges today.
What is Assault and Battery?
First, let’s cover the basics. What is assault and battery?
Assault and battery occur when one individual intentionally harms another. A crime that involves a physical attack (or the threat of one) is usually assault, battery, or both.
The crime could reach the level of aggravated assault based on the severity of the attack. Fighting can lead to an assault charge, too.
An intentional attack that causes a person to fear imminent physical harm is an assault. Assault and battery, however, were once considered separate crimes. An attack is considered a battery if the aggressor strikes or touches a victim.
In other words, battery is a “completed” assault.
However, most statutes no longer distinguish between the two crimes.
If you were charged with assault and battery, you need to prepare yourself for the potential legal consequences.
Usually, assault leads to misdemeanor penalties. For example, you might face a year in jail. Fines could range between $500 and $2,500.
If you have prior assault convictions or assaulted a vulnerable victim, you could face felony penalties. Low-level felony penalties lead to two to five years in prison.
With an aggravated assault, you could face 10 to 20 years in prison. Fines can range between $5,000 and $20,000.
A judge might sentence you to probation. You could serve all or part of your sentence:
- Attending anger management classes
- Paying restitution to the victim
- Attending substance abuse counseling
You might receive a restraining order, too.
Otherwise, restitution can include paying for medical or counseling bills for the victim.
What to Do
What should you do if you’re charged with assault and battery? Make sure to find an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.
Look for a lawyer with experience handling assault and battery cases. They’ll understand the laws relevant to your case. They can help you review your legal options.
About 627 out of 1,000 assault and battery crimes are reported to the police. Only 255 lead to arrests. Meanwhile, 41 of these cases lead to a felony conviction.
About 33 of these criminals are later incarcerated.
With an experienced lawyer at your side, you can avoid facing serious penalties, including jail time. You can find an assault and battery criminal defense attorney here.
Build Your Defense: What to Do When Charged With Assault and Battery
To recap, what should you do if you’re charged with assault and battery? Make sure to find an experienced lawyer right away. They can help build your defense.
With their expertise, you could avoid serious charges.
Searching for more tips? You’re in the right place.
Check out our latest guides today for more.
Amanda Byers is a graduate of Columbia, where she played volleyball and annoyed a lot of professors. Now as Zobuz’s entertainment and Lifestyle Editor, she enjoys writing about delicious BBQ, outrageous style trends and all things Buzz worthy.