The seriousness of facing a common assault charge can be quite daunting, and when it goes to court, you may be surprised by the broad range of behaviors that can be considered assault. Common assault occurs when someone intentionally or recklessly uses violence against another person. Regardless of the degree of the assault, seeking legal guidance from The Law Offices of Bryan R Kazarian is crucial.
It’s important to note that you can be charged with common assault even if physical violence did not occur, as it also encompasses situations where the victim experiences a genuine fear of violence. With a criminal defense attorney’s assistance, you can understand your case’s circumstances and explore the available legal options.
What Constitutes a Common Assault Charge?
A common assault charge can encompass actions ranging from causing the victim to fear violence to physically harming them through unlawful acts. Here are some examples of common assault:
- Physically harming the victim through actions like punching, pushing, or kicking.
- Attempting to strike a person, even if you didn’t make physical contact, as long as you caused them to fear immediate violence.
- Threatening a person with a loaded firearm.
- Spitting at a person.
- Unlawfully restraining someone.
How Severe Is the Penalty for a Common Assault Charge?
A common assault offense is categorized as a criminal offense, often referred to as “TABLE 1,” and is typically heard in local courts. The severity of a common assault charge can vary based on several factors.
The court must adhere to established guidelines unless there are exceptional reasons not to do so. To determine the seriousness of the common assault, the prosecution considers factors such as the extent of injury inflicted on the victim and whether the assault was a repeated offense.
The court also considers mitigating factors to assess the degree of the offender’s responsibility for the assault. Was the assault premeditated? Were there factors like the victim’s race, disability, or sexual identity motivated the assault?
If the court finds that the assault was premeditated or influenced by such factors, the offender will likely face a more severe sentence. Other factors that can increase the severity of the sentence include targeting vulnerable individuals like senior citizens, using weapons, committing the assault while under drug or alcohol influence, or abusing a position of trust.
Mitigating Factors in Your Defense
Your attorney’s role is to work towards a favorable outcome for your case. In some instances, they may identify factors that could mitigate your situation, including:
- The assault resulted from a single blow.
- A common assault was an isolated incident.
- The offender expressed remorse after the assault.
- The offender has a good character.
- The offender has a severe medical condition or mental disorder.
- Offender lacks maturity or is a primary caregiver for relatives.
Pleading guilty to the charges can also lead to a reduced sentence, known as a Reduction in Sentence Credit. The extent of the reduction depends on various factors, and in some cases, it can affect the offender’s sentence by up to one-third.
Common assault charges can lead to either custodial sentences or other outcomes, depending on the circumstances. It’s essential to contact a criminal attorney like The Law Offices of Bryan R Kazarian when facing common assault charges to mount a strong defense and seek the most favorable result. While common assault is among the less severe offenses, it is still a significant criminal matter.