If you have been
arrested for any sort of crime, you likely realize that your future is at stake.
Whether law enforcement believes you to be guilty of petty
computer fraud or even
murder; choosing to hire a criminal defense attorney is the most important step
for you to make. Criminal charges, no matter the severity can have a life
altering effect on your life, whether it means having to come up with
extreme fines to the court, or spending months on probation and even years
behind bars; it is worth fighting if it means saving your future.
When addressing the issue of
assault, it is very easy for individuals to think of the many television cop and
legal shows we have watched. And while some may give a fair representation,
it is very possible that a person will not have a full understanding.
Assault, in a nutshell, means that a person purposefully used violence
towards another with the intent to harm them in some way. When dealing
with assault charges, there are generally four different degrees for these
charges that determine the severity of the crime and the subsequent consequences
with the law.
First Degree Assault is the most severe of the four. This means that the person responsible
for the actions is being accused of a Felony charge. First degree is the
category for which suspects not only intended to cause extreme harm to
the victim, but were also successful in doing so. This includes any disfiguring
as well as threatening others with a deadly weapon with the intent to
kill or cause serious harm, and actually hurting them. Even within the
category of first-degree assault charges, there is still going be a difference
between aggravated and mitigated charges to determine the level of severity.
For example, an aggregated assault is believed to be the most severe and
more often involves the use of a deadly weapon. Under this category also
fall sexual relations with underage children, among others. Mitigated
generally means that there is less severe force, etc. While there is no
set in stone consequences, as each case is unique, those convicted of
first-degree assault may spend between 10-16 years in prison.
Second Degree Assault is the next level down, though it is still considered a felony charge.
Those accused of this level of crime generally fall under the category
of having caused some level of harm to another person using a dangerous
weapon, even if their actions were reckless as opposed to intentional.
A person with any intent to cause harm falls under this category if they
actually did commit an act leading to injury. Drugging people without
consent, hindering law enforcing officials, and others fall under this
category as well. As stated, every case is unique though the consequences
may be between 5 and 8 years in prison.
Third Degree Assault is much less serious as the court then considers it to be first-degree
misdemeanor charges as opposed to a felony. If the accused either knowingly
or recklessly caused some form of harm to another person it may fall under
this category. Those who are convicted of this category crime will generally
spend an average of 2 years in prison.
Fourth Degree Assault is considered to be anything that does not fall under the first three
categories and can result in a variety of different consequences as determined
by the court. No matter the situation you are in, if you have been accused
of any category of assault charges, do not hesitate in contacting a trusted
and experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney at
The Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman; we will fight aggressively for you!