Different Types of Assault Charges

An assault is the use of violence against someone without their consent. Assault in this context is considered a violent crime and can have serious legal consequences if you're convicted. This offense is broken up into different categories to determine the severity of the crime, as well as potential penalties that could be handed down by a court of law.  To determine what assault charges are being pressed against you, it's important to examine the details surrounding your specific case closely. 

1. Assault with a Weapon Charges

The most serious form of assault is assault with a weapon. Depending on the nature of the weapon used and your relationship with the victim, you could face charges ranging from aggravated battery to attempted murder. With this charge, the use of a weapon is deemed to be an intentional assault upon another individual. 

A weapon can include anything from a firearm to an object as innocuous as a knife or hammer. But generally speaking, any object that is able or capable of being used to cause harm or injury may be considered a weapon for assault charges. The potential jail time you face if convicted of this charge can be 10 to 15 years, depending on the severity of the assault that was committed.

2. Simple Assault Charges

Simple assault charges involve aggressive actions against another person that are not accompanied by a weapon or threat. This can include pushing, punching, and grabbing, among other actions. Simple assault charges can still carry severe penalties, including up to a year in jail and fines in excess of $1,000.

3. Aggravated Assault Charges

Aggravated assault charges are similar to simple assault charges in the way that they involve aggressive actions against another person. Aggravated assault can result in injuries to the victim and mainly involves physical contact between the victim and the aggressor. In this case, however, a weapon may be present, or some sort of threat is made. Similar to simple assault charges, harsher penalties can result from aggravated assault charges, including 18 months to 10 years in prison.

4. Sexual Assault Charges

Sexual assault charges are one of the most serious types of assault charges a person can face. Sexual assault charges refer to any type of inappropriate sexual contact or other sexual contacts that occurs without the victim's consent. Rape is considered a form of sexual assault and is usually accompanied by significant time in prison for the offender, as well as steep fines. Some factors that can help determine what type of sexual assault charge you may face include the type of sexual contact that occurred, whether or not you used force against the victim, and the relation of the victim to the aggressor. A person facing this charge can face 18 months to 30 years in prison.

5. Sexual Assault with A Weapon Charges

Sexual assault with a weapon charge is similar to sexual assault charges in that the victim of the crime is subjected to inappropriate sexual contact without consent. But this offense is charged as a separate charge because of the use of a weapon, such as a knife, gun, or other objects. As such sexual assault with a weapon charge often result in more severe penalties than just sexual assault charges, including the incarceration of up to 50 years in prison. 

6. Assaulting a Police Officer Charges

While any assault charge is a serious crime, those that involve an assault on a police officer are even more so. This can include any physical violence or aggression towards a police officer. Assaulting an officer might include:

  • Swinging your arms at a police officer.
  • Pushing a police officer away.
  • Verbally threatening a police officer.

The potential for jail time and fines can be the same as aggravated assault charges, with jail times ranging from one to ten years, depending on the severity of the crime.

7. Assault Against a Public Transit Operator Charges

Like an assault on a police officer, assault against a public transit operator refers to any physical violence or aggression towards a worker at a public transit facility. A bus driver, for example, could face these charges if he assaulted an individual for not paying his fare. The potential penalties are similar to those for assaulting a police officer, which can range from one to ten years in prison.

8. Consent Charges

Consent charges are unique in that no physical assault is committed against a person. Instead, the crime occurs when one individual does not receive consent from another to commit an act of aggression toward them. This can include force or threats of force, as well as verbal coercion. Consent charges are upon the court system to prove that the victim did not give consent, and the severity of charges can range from a misdemeanor to a felony.

 9. Aggravated Sexual Assault Charges

Aggravated sexual assault charges are very similar to the crime of rape, which is considered a form of aggravated assault. Aggravated sexual assault typically means that penetration was involved, and sometimes the violence is more physical in nature. Aggravated sexual assault often results in injuries to the victim. The potential penalties for aggravated sexual assault can range from 18 months to 10 years, and fines in excess of $1,000 can be imposed.

10. Domestic Abuse Charges

Domestic abuse charges are those that fall under the umbrella of domestic violence. Domestic abuse can include actions such as punching, choking, and kicking, among other activities. Aggravated domestic abuse is a specific form of assault and usually results in bodily injury to the victim. Domestic abuse charges are common between spouses and partners, as well as family members, and are, therefore, extremely serious in nature. Jail sentences range from one to 10 years, while fines in excess of $1,000 are possible.

11. Verbal Assault Charges

While not a physical assault, verbal assault charges are still very serious. Verbal assault refers to the use of words to abuse another person and usually occurs in a setting where no physical force is used. It involves verbal threats or comments that can be very damaging to the victim. Verbal assault charges can come along with jail time and/or fines, depending on the severity of the offense.

Being arrested for an assault can be a serious issue, as assault charges have the potential to result in jail time and fines. The above list details the most common types of assault charges that you may face. Knowing the potential penalties of each assault crime can be helpful in your planning to fight back against these charges. Working with a criminal defense attorney with experience in assault cases can provide the best defense against these charges. 

Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only. The provision of this material does not create an attorney-client relationship between the firm and the reader and does not constitute legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and the contents of this newsletter are not a substitute for legal counsel. Do not take action in reliance on the contents of this material without seeking the advice of counsel.

The information contained in this blog may or may not reflect the most current legal developments. Accordingly, information in this blog is not promised or guaranteed to be correct or complete, and should not be relied upon as such. Readers should conduct their own appropriate legal research.

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