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Attorneys William R. Christoph & Nicholas W. Christoph

What Happens if You Are Charged with Assault?

If you’re charged with Assault, there are a few things you need to know. A free initial consultation with an attorney will help you understand your situation and what can be done.

Assault can be a misdemeanor or a felony. A Misdemeanor or Felony is determined by The District Attorney who reviews the circumstances, seriousness of the assault, the evidence and an individual’s record. Assault does not require actual physical touching – but the doing of an act (not in self defense) that would reasonably result in the application of force to another with the present ability to apply that force. Generally, a real threat of bodily injury or even a rude or angry touching may be an assault. Each type of assault has its own specific elements defining the crime. For instance, assault with a deadly weapon or force likely to cause great bodily injury requires a weapon or force likely to produce great bodily injury to be involved.


When you are charged with assaulting someone, you may actually be charged with an additional crime of battery if there is an actual physical touching. Battery can also be a felony or misdemeanor depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. You may be charged with assault or with assault and battery if there is unlawful use of force with physical contact.


The evidence must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that each element of the crime was committed and you did not act in self defense. An attorney can evaluate your case in light of the definitions of self defense and the crimes alleged to determine your best defense for negotiations and for trial if necessary. Even if you may be guilty, an attorney knows the important individual mitigating factors in your case that can best be used to negotiate lesser penalties or charges.


Your lawyer will help you understand the charges against you, the evidence, the procedures and what needs to be done, as well as give you a realistic expectation of how the case can best be resolved. Most cases are resolved without trial with lesser charges, lesser penalties or sometimes even a dismissal. It is important to understand the risk as well as the reward from a trial.

If you have been charged with a crime, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible – at least for a free consultation to better understand your situation and what can be done to help you get the best resolution of your case.

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