In a criminal case, there are only three categories: a violation, a misdemeanor, or a felony. An offense carries the least severe penalties, where only the defendant is asked to pay fines. In a misdemeanor case, the defendant can face a prison sentence, a fine, or both. Finally, a felony case is the most serious and severe category of the three, carrying 1 year or even life in prison, depending on the charge.
The Applicable Penalty Of An Assault
What is the applicable penalty for an assault crime? The offense of an assault is known as a wobbler crime. This means it can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor offense or a felony offense. If the act is prosecuted as a misdemeanor, the penalty to be imposed in the event of a conviction will be:
- Up to one year in county jail and/or
- A fine of up to a thousand dollars
On the other hand, if the crime is prosecuted as a serious crime, the sentence to be imposed will be:
- Two to four years in state prison and/or
- A fine of ten thousand dollars at your maximum limit
The court may impose compliance with a probation period instead of a prison sentence, or together with the payment of the fine. Although the conditions that must be met in a probation decision depend on the details of each case. When it comes to this crime, they usually include the fulfillment of community service hours, as well as compensation for the damage caused to the victim.
However, it must be taken into account that if a firearm was involved in the commission of the assault, the penalties that will be imposed will be much more severe because these circumstances are considered to be aggravating the crime. In this sense, depending on the type of firearm used, the penalties can be more or less severe:
If a simple or ordinary firearm was used, the crime is still considered a wobbler crime and can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the other circumstances of the case. If it is processed as a minor offense, the minimum limit of the penalty to be imposed will be six months in prison and the maximum is one year. On the other hand, if it is prosecuted as a serious offense, the penalty that will be imposed will be two to four years in prison.
If a semi-automatic weapon was used, the penalty to be imposed will be increased and may be from three to nine years in prison. If an assault rifle or machine gun was used, a conviction could carry a sentence of four to twelve years in prison.
What facts must the prosecutor prove to be convicted of this crime? For a court to convict a person for an assault crime, it will be necessary for the prosecutor to demonstrate the following elements beyond any reasonable doubt:
- That you carried out or attempted to carry out a violent actagainst another person,
- Who used a deadly weapon or force during the violent act,
- That is carried out the action voluntarily and intentionally, and
- That the result of the act was represented.
What are the possible defenses against this crime? The defenses that can be applied to face charges for this crime will vary depending on the circumstances of the specific case, so it is always recommended that you go to a lawyer with knowledge of criminal law who will listen to the details of your situation and advise you as best possible way. In that sense, a criminal law attorney will indicate the best way forward depending on whether you committed the violent act.
These are various legal strategies that a lawyer can use as a defense, but you have to provide the evidence to work with. It is very important that as soon as you know the accusation you go to an experienced lawyer in your local area to advise you and help you avoid a conviction.