A simple assault charge is considered an offense, which involves either knowingly or unknowingly causing bodily harm. Even if a person is placed in fear of bodily harm, it too is considered simple assault. It is the least serious charge in the category of assault offenses. Each state in the U.S. has its own definition of a simple assault. Some states define it as the intentional use of violence or force against another while other states describe simple assault as an attempt to commit physical assault. In this case, physical contact is not mandatory in constituting a simple assault charge. Raising a fist or moving menacingly towards a person is required for such a charge to be instigated against a person. This article provides an overview of simple assault offenses.
In states that define simple assault as placing a victim in fear of violence, the victim’s response should genuine and reasonable under the circumstances. The test is to see if the defendant’s actions would place a reasonable person in fear of immediate physical attack. It is, in fact, the least serious form of attack, which involves a limited threat of violence. In the states where assault is described as a physical attack, slapping or pushing someone is considered a simple assault offense. Aggravated assaults are circumstances that are considered more serious. If the assault is conducted with a deadly weapon that causes serious bodily harm to a person, it is defined as an aggravated assault. The majority of simple assault offenses are filed in your local municipal court.
In many states, a simple assault offense is treated more seriously if it is committed against any of the following categories of individuals. Individuals who are either vulnerable or work in service to the community. For example, elderly or physically challenged people, police officers, social workers, firefighters, teachers and school employees, judges, those who work in prisons and jails, utility workers and mental health care providers. A simple assault against such an individual may be defined as a more serious misdemeanor or a felony.
If the defendant is to be convicted of a simple assault, the attorney should be able to prove every aspect of the crime. The elements of the crime should be proved beyond a reasonable doubt in such circumstances. The evidence should show that the defendant knowingly threatened the victim with bodily harm. The threat should cause the victim to fear immediate serious violence. In fact, a verbal abuse or threat alone would not constitute an assault. There should be concrete evidence showing the defendant was about to cause physical harm to the victim.
Simple assault is punishable with six moths to one year in jail. The judge has the final say in deciding whether to allow the defendant to serve a portion of the sentence on probation. A competent criminal defense attorney can assist you in fighting an assault charge. This is why it is important that you consult the best criminal defense attorney in your area to represent your case in a court of law.