Assault is one of the most common crimes in the United States and around the world. Depending on the severity of the assault, it could be classified as a felony that results in years of jail time or hefty fines. While some forms of assault are commonly recognized due to coverage in the media, assault is actually an umbrella term that encompasses a number of different actions. Learn everything there is to know about an assault charge so that you’re better prepared to speak to a criminal defense attorney.
What is Assault?
Broadly defined, assault is an intentional act that either causes a person to fear an imminent attack or physical harm. No physical injury is actually required for a charge of assault. Battery refers to the actual physical injury of a person, which is why assault and battery charges are often given at the same time. For example, something as simple as throwing a punch at another person without legal reason, even if it doesn’t connect, could result in an assault charge, but not a battery charge.
Common Types of Assault Charges
As mentioned, assault is an umbrella term that refers to a number of different types of criminal acts. Depending on the severity of an assault, a person could either be charged with misdemeanor or felony assault. Don’t hesitate to contact a criminal assault defense attorney who can help you defend your case if you are charged with one of the following five common types of assault:
1. Aggravated Assault
Any attempt to rob, murder, rape, or assault a person with a deadly weapon is considered to be aggravated assault. It is one of the most commonly reported forms of assault with hundreds of thousands of reported cases on a yearly basis.
2. Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is one of the most common charges in the United States. On average, an American is sexually assaulted every 68 seconds, going to show the prevalence of this crime. Any form of unwanted sexual contact, the forcing of sexual acts, unwanted penetration of the body, and more all qualify as sexual assault.
3. Vehicular Assault
Any attempt to cause harm to another person by using a vehicle falls under the category of vehicular assault. In most cases, vehicular assault is accompanied by charges of criminal traffic violations such as reckless driving, excessive speeding, and much more.
4. Felony Assault
Felony assault is another umbrella term that simply refers to any assault severe enough that is qualified as a felony. In most cases, assault with a deadly weapon or dangerous weapon is the most common type.
5. Simply Assault
Finally, simple assault only refers to the action of intentionally trying to cause fear in a potential victim through the threat of violence. It is a less severe version of aggravated assault, but still has three different degrees of charges associated with it.
Find legal protection to defend your rights
Defending your rights by yourself is difficult, which is why the help of an accredited criminal defense attorney can be so beneficial. If you have been wrongfully accused of one of the above forms of assault, don’t hesitate to reach out to a criminal defense attorney in your area who can help you make your case for innocence.