What to Do If Arrested for Criminal Assault: A FAQ

Being charged with a criminal assault misdemeanor or felony is a scary experience. Working with an experienced criminal assault attorney will help to clarify things for you and keep you calm throughout the entire ordeal. 

Since a criminal assault case can be a long process, you may not know where to start or what to do. To help make your case easier down the road and to bring clarity to your situation, here we answer some commonly asked questions about criminal assault cases.

What should I do immediately after an assault charge?

Even though your emotions will be high after being charged with assault, you must stay composed and do the following:

  • Contact a lawyer right away. Your lawyer will not only navigate the road of the judicial system for you, but they will work as your advocate and point of contact. This way you will not have to feel pressured about making a statement or working with the plaintiff on your own.
  • Write down an account of what happened from your perspective.
  • Contact and compile a list of potential witnesses.

Is there anything I should not do?

Yes, these common mistakes can jeopardize your case:

  • Contacting and communicating with the accuser.
  • Speaking to the police or any third party about the incident, without your lawyer being present.
  • Posting about the situation on any social media platform.
  • Destroying evidence. 

What is the difference between an assault or a battery charge?

An assault is defined as an action that poses an imminent threat with the intent to injure another person. However, an assault charge does not always mean a person was physically injured. A good example of this would be Person A pointing a gun at Person B, but not firing.

A battery charge is an assault that has been completed. Most often than not, this includes using a deadly weapon with the intent to harm another individual.

What is defined as a deadly weapon?

A deadly weapon isn’t just a gun or a knife, it can be a vehicle, a bow and arrow, a flare gun, explosive, even scissors. Anything that poses a lethal threat is considered a deadly weapon.

What defense can I use?

There are plenty of different defense pleas for criminal assault. Depending on your case, you may be able to claim:

  • Self-defense: This is when your lawyer will prove that you were protecting yourself when the incident in question happened.
  • Intent: Sometimes, what happened is different than what you intended to happen. A lawyer could fight that your actions were not intentional, rather they could have been caused by negligence.
  • No serious bodily injury: In some situations, it can be hard to prove that a bodily injury was caused by the incident or by the accuser itself. If your lawyer shows that there was no serious bodily injury involved with the matter, your charges may be lessened or even dropped.

There may be plenty of questions swirling around your mind when you are charged with criminal assault. Get peace of mind that your rights will be protected by calling a criminal defense attorney from a firm like The Morales Law Firm to make sure you understand your case and what is to come.