The criminal offense of assault applies to a wide range of scenarios from threats to beatings. For example, you might face a misdemeanor charge for making a person fear they are at the imminent risk of serious injury. There are also situations where this charge is treated as a felony.
In these cases, it can benefit you to speak to a skilled assault attorney as soon as you have been charged. Your freedom is at stake, and a conviction could send you to state prison for years. A Citrus Park felony assault lawyer can provide you with the appropriate defense strategy in your case. The criminal defense attorneys at Grand Canyon Law are former prosecutors who know how to do things the right way.
Assault charges could be treated as either misdemeanors or felonies. This distinction is important given the serious consequences that come with a conviction. In both situations, the state must prove the basic elements of the offense.
There are three different ways the prosecution could choose to make their case for assault. First, a prosecutor could show the defendant caused physical injuries to someone else by making contact with them. They could also establish a person touched another individual with the intent to cause harm or offend. Finally, someone could also face these charges if they placed someone else in fear of imminent harm, even if the other person was never injured.
Proving the basic elements of the offense is vital regardless of whether the state is pursuing felony or misdemeanor charges. A Citrus Park felony assault lawyer could argue how the prosecution has not proved their case.
As a baseline, assault is treated as a misdemeanor according to state law. To secure a felony conviction, the state must prove an aggravating factor is present.
The law treats assault as a felony when the accuser sustains serious physical harm in the process. The use of a dangerous weapon like a firearm is also treated as an aggravating factor. Felony assault could also apply when:
The state only needs to establish one of these elements to upgrade a misdemeanor to a felony. This is in addition to the underlying elements of the crime.
Some acts could result in arrest and conviction regardless of intent, but assault charges require more proof. To be found guilty, the defendant must have intended to cause harm, and because of this, accidental injuries should never result in an arrest for felony assault.
Unfortunately, prosecutors can only guess at intent, so they could incorrectly assume that an unfortunate accident was an intentional effort to cause harm. A felony assault lawyer in Citrus Park could make the case to a judge or jury the state is unable to prove the necessary intent was present.
Assault charges can have life-altering consequences, but only when you are convicted. If you can successfully beat these charges and win at trial, you could walk away without a mark on your criminal record. Your best hope for this outcome is to work with a Citrus Park felony assault lawyer from Grand Canyon Law Group. Reach out right away to learn about your possible defense options.