When an individual acts with the intention to cause physical injuries to another person and it actually leads to serious bodily harm (it does not have to be serious either) to that person, it is known as assault. In fact, the victim does not even need to be injured when it comes to assault charges. The act of threatening harm itself can lead to these charges. If you face assault charges, speak to our skilled criminal defense attorneys at Zack Peagler Law Firm immediately.
We are client-focused and devoted to building a strong defense for you in assault and battery cases. We are well-regarded as fierce litigators in the courts, and our lawyers have the requisite persistence to ensure that you prevail in your legal matter. We are knowledgeable and determined to protect your best interests.
In Alabama, assault charges can include:
Assault and battery
Assault with a deadly weapon
Assault in the First-Degree
Under Alabama law, an assault refers to a criminal act. Most assaults are considered Class B felonies as per the Alabama Criminal Code unless it is third-degree assault. In defining assault in the first-degree, consider the following elements:
The perpetrator caused injury to another person with a deadly weapon
The perpetrator attacked someone with the intent to cause permanent disability, amputation, or disfigurement
The accused showed negligent indifference toward another person leading to serious physical injury, such as reckless driving
Severe injury was caused during another serious crime such as kidnapping, rape, burglary
A person sustained an injury when the perpetrator was under the influence of alcohol or drugs and operated an automobile
Assault in the First-Degree Penalties
The penalties for assault in the first-degree may include time behind bars for at least two years up to 20 years. In case a firearm was involved, the minimum mandatory sentence in AL is ten years of incarceration. Further, you might face fines of up to $30,000 and will likely be placed on probation and required to undertake community service.
Assault in the Second-Degree
In defining second-degree assault, consider the following elements:
The person caused severe physical harm to another individual
The perpetrator used a weapon or deadly instrument with the intention to cause physical harm to another
The perpetrator prevented a law enforcement officer from undertaking their job in the line of duty, and in doing so, caused injury to another person
The perpetrator may cause impairment or harm to another individual by administering a substance or drug to cause physical or mental impairment, or unconsciousness
The perpetrator attacked a teacher
The future of your entire family is at stake here. Thus, it is vital to ensure that you work with a seasoned and well-qualified criminal defense lawyer in AL.
Second-Degree Assault Penalties
Penalties may include imprisonment for at least one year up to 10 years. If a weapon or firearm was used, the minimum mandatory imprisonment is ten years. Fines range up to $15,000. Probation and community service are required.
Assault in the Third-Degree Penalties in Alabama
A misdemeanor assault is considered third-degree assault in Alabama and is a serious offense. Assault in the third-degree as a Class A misdemeanor may include the following:
Causing physical harm to another person intentionally or due to negligence
Punching, pushing and shoving, kicking, recklessly causing physical injury to another
Speeding and/or using a deadly instrument or weapon to injure another person
A third-degree assault might also involve interfering with a police officer and by preventing them from performing their duty, causing harm to another
Third-degree assault penalties may include imprisonment of up to one year or a fine up to $6,000. The offender may be put on probation or sentenced to undertake community service.
A person may be convicted with an aggravated assault if their performance under specific conditions creates a situation more dangerous than if they had only been attempting to act assault.
For example, if the assault took place during burglary with a deadly weapon, the offense may be considered aggravated assault. Aggravated assault penalties are more serious than those for other assaults where the perpetrator only sought to injure the victim.
Potential Defenses against Assault & Battery
Upon examining the evidence in your case, our committed and resourceful assault lawyers at Zack Peagler Law Firm will explain your options and determine what defenses are applicable to your situation based on the specificities of the case. Below mentioned are some assault charge defenses that we may deploy in your case:
Without Wrongful Intent
In order to be charged with criminal assault, the prosecution must show that you had the intent to injure the victim or create fear. If what transpired was an unpreventable accident or you were incapable of understanding what you were acting due to a psychological condition or defect, you may not be held guilty as you lacked the intent to perform the assault.
It is incumbent on the prosecution to prove all facets of their case against you. If they cannot prove even one element, you may not be held guilty for the crime. For instance, if eyewitnesses were asked to come to trial but are unable to do so or choose not to respond to the prosecutor’s summons, the court may have insufficient evidence to continue your trial.
Action against Potential Danger
In specific situations, if you performed assault or battery but doing so was vital to defend yourself or other people, you may be able to show that you were fighting in self-defense. However, self-defense must be applied only to the extent necessary to protect yourself or innocent people.
It is a general misconception that if the sufferer hits first, you have an absolute right to retaliate in the context of self-defense. If one individual attempts to withdraw from a brawl or fight, causing any further damage after that point will likely not be seen as an act of self-defense no matter who threw the first punch. But that does not mean someone can punch you and run off and you have to just allow them to flee.
Protecting You from Severe Penalties in AL
If convicted of assault, you may face years behind bars, hefty fines, court fees, and other life-altering penalties. In case you need to register as a sex offender due to the conviction, where you can live and work will be severely restricted for the remainder of your life. Our criminal defense lawyers will do everything possible to protect you from these severe penalties and minimize your chances of imprisonment.
It is crucial to act fast and retain experienced legal counsel if you have been charged with assault, battery, or a similar offense. At the Zach Peagler Law Firm, we will use our skills and extensive resources to try and ensure that your charges are dismissed or at least reduced. For a free initial consultation, call today at (205) 871-9990.
The following language is required pursuant to Rule 7.2, Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct. No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.