You could be accused of assault for a number of different reasons, and if you're convicted, you might face severe penalties. Fights where you were acting in self-defense may be improperly portrayed to make it seem like you were in the wrong. Incidents you assumed were minor, such as heated arguments with family members or altercations that occurred while you were intoxicated, could lead to formal charges.
Assault charges are commonly accompanied by battery charges. The distinction is that battery generally involves actual physical contact, such as shoving someone, while assault includes all the actions you took that preceded battery, like trying to attack them. It's important to remember that you don't actually have to seriously injure someone to be charged with battery. Similarly, assault charges may be bumped up to more severe aggravated assault charges simply because the alleged victim felt like they were in significant danger. If the incident involved an object, you might be charged with assault with a deadly weapon, even if the item in question isn't normally considered a weapon.
Assault charges can also come from incidents that included alleged undesired sexual contact. In some cases, you might be accused after a fight breaks out and you successfully protect yourself. Because courts may automatically jump to the conclusion that the person who won a fight was at fault, it's important to mount a strong defense even if you weren't the original aggressive party.
Assault charges could result in felony convictions and penalties like imprisonment. Our criminal law attorneys understand that courts don't always account for every circumstance or treat the accused fairly. We use this knowledge to build effective defenses that call the validity of your charges into question. To learn more about responding to assault or battery accusations, visit our violent crimes page.