While every state has its own definitions and punishments for assault, the need to understand the law increases significantly when you are facing charges. If you find yourself in a position where you are fighting to avoid jail or prison time in addition to steep fines, you are sure to have many questions.
In every state, assault is a criminal charge that may carry jail time. What differs from state to state is how assaults are categorized and what types of punishments are generally assigned for each type of assault. This guide will help you learn how the state of Alabama categorizes and doles out punishments for the different types of assault.
How Assault Charges Are Determined
Generally, assault is an action that encompasses either harmful or offensive touching or the threat of harmful touching. For example, consider a situation in which an individual takes a swing at the victim but misses. If the individual’s swing comes close enough to inspire real threat or fear, it is still considered an assault.
How Alabama Defines First Degree Assault
In Alabama, first degree assault involves either intent to cause physical injury or actually causing physical injury, typically with a weapon or an item used as a weapon. It may also include intent to disfigure the other person.
First degree assault may also encompass instances in which physical injury occurs during the commission of another crime. These crimes might include burglary, kidnapping, rape or other felonies. First degree assault may also cover injury caused to others while you are driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
This is a Class B felony. It may result in up to 20 years in prison and additional fines of up to $30,000. It is an extremely serious offense and, depending on the circumstances, may be combined with other charges.
How Alabama Defines Second Degree Assault
Second degree assault is intent to cause or actually causing physical injury. For assault to be categorized as second degree, the injury must be serious, and it may be caused with a deadly weapon or instrument.
This type of assault may also apply to intent to cause or actually causing injury to somebody working as a peace officer, health care worker, utility worker or public education employee. Interfering with their work in a way that results in injury can have especially steep consequences.
Second degree assault is considered a Class C felony. The punishment for second degree assault may include up to 10 years in prison and a potential fine of $15,000.
How Alabama Defines Third Degree Assault
This type of assault occurs when an individual acts intentionally or recklessly with negligence, causing physical injury. Third degree is typically not considered as serious in terms of physical injury as the others.
Third degree assault often occurs when an individual acts to prevent peace officers from performing their duties, resulting in physical harm.
Third degree assault is a Class A misdemeanor. It carries a possible sentence of up to one year in jail and a fine up to $6,000.
How to Deal With Assault Charges
The importance of hiring a criminal defense attorney to help you fight assault charges cannot be overstated. Alabama takes assault charges seriously, and aggressive defense is necessary.
It is essential that you fight assault charges with a lawyer. Conviction can make it more difficult to find or maintain employment. It also comes with social stigma and damage to relationships. Of course, there are also financial consequences.
Simms & Associates can help you fight charges in court by standing up for your rights. Contact them today for help with your assault case.