Types of Assault Charges

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Assault is a criminal offense that can lead to serious consequences. When you are convicted, it results in a criminal record, complete with fingerprint records and other legal processing. Would you like to know more about assault charges? Let us look at the common types of assault charges recognized in most jurisdictions:

Verbal assault

This is one of the most common types of assault. From its name, this assault is as simple as it sounds. You are said to have been assaulted when you are threatened verbally. When it happens, report it to the authorities, citing fear for your wellbeing.

Verbal assaults also carry trauma, which can be emotionally scarring and difficult to cope with so you can include this in your report. 

Simple assault

Simple assault is said to have occurred if:

  • You have applied intentional force to people without their consent
  • Attempted or threatened by an act or gesture to apply force
  • Approached or blocked the other person’s way while openly blandishing a weapon or an imitation of a weapon.

A classic example of a simple assault is when someone threatens to run you over with their car while they are inside.

In most cases, simple assault is treated as a summary conviction and often doesn’t carry a heavy punishment. It’s usually processed directly by the judge without the need for a jury or jail sentence.

However, in severe cases, the assault is treated as an indictable offense, requiring a more formal court process.

Assault causing bodily harm

This is where there are notable body injuries. In court, the assault can be prosecuted as either a summary conviction or an indictable offense depending on the injuries’ extent.

Assault with a weapon

This is as it sounds—the act of violence or threat of violence where a weapon is used. The weapon can be a knife, gun, a steel bar, or any other thing. Like the bodily harm charge, this charge can also be prosecuted either as a summary conviction or an indictable offense.

Aggravated assault

This is a more serious type of assault, often resulting in serious, potentially life-long crippling injuries or real danger of death. Aggravated assault is always treated as an indictable offense and carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years.

Sexual assault

This is another common type of assault, and it happens when you touch, or you are touched sexually without your consent or desire. Like the other forms of assault, this assault also has the indictable offense and summary conviction variations.  

There are three levels of sexual assault:

Simple sexual assault: This involves forcing a person to participate in any form of sexual activity without their consent.

Sexual assault with a weapon: Here, there is the use or threat of the use of a weapon or injury to a third party. This form of assault is treated as a more severe case, and there are both summary conviction and indictable offense sentences.

Aggravated sexual assault: Like with aggravated assault, in aggravated sexual assault, there are more serious injuries to the victim. This form of assault is tried as an indictable offense.

Assaulting a law enforcement officer

Due to their work nature, it’s not uncommon for police officers to find themselves on the receiving end. Police officer assaults are prosecuted similarly to other assault charges, and they can be a summary conviction or an indictable offense depending on the act.

Can you go to jail for assault?

Yes, you can go to jail for assault, especially if you were involved in a more serious form of assault, such as aggravated assault. Jail time is one of the consequences of a criminal assault, but there are plenty of other consequences that can come your way, such as: heavy fines, loss of the right to own weapons, probation, parole, and anger management programs.

The variables and factors that influence the nature of the punishment to depend on your prior criminal history, the nature of the assault, and how you presented your case in court.

To present yourself professionally in court and increase your chances of getting a linear punishment, it’s always wise to seek expert advice from a criminal lawyer or any other knowledgeable professional.

Remember, once you have been indicted, you have a criminal record that significantly affects your professional and personal life.

How long after an assault can you press charges?

Before we proceed, you should note that there is nothing like “pressing charges.” What you have to do when you are assaulted is to report the crime to the police, who will investigate and then arrest the accused.

Most assault charges are misdemeanors, and you should report them to the police within a year of occurrence.

It’s always wise to report the assault as soon as it happens, as, during this time, the accused and the witnesses can still remember the occurrence of the events, and the evidence is still available.

When you go for a long time before reporting the crime, you are less likely to get the justice you deserve. In fact, the law enforcement officers might not even make any arrest, as they might not have a probable reason for it.

To make a report for the assault, you need to head to your local police department. When making the report, you will need to have the following information:

  • Your name (victim)
  • The assailant’s name
  • The assailant’s address (if you know it)
  • Where the assault occurred
  • When the assault occurred (date and time)
  • How the assault occurred

After making the report, the relevant authorities will follow up on the case and, after completing their investigation, take the report to the prosecutor’s office. The prosecutor will go over the report and determine whether the police have enough information to prosecute the assailant.

To speed up the process and ensure you get the full compensation for the physical and mental damage you went through during the assault, arm yourself with a personal injury attorney. 

When hiring the lawyer do your due diligence and ensure you hire an experienced professional. You don’t want to be led by a lookie, do you? 

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