An assault defense attorney defends individuals accused of some type of assault. For example, this type of attorney may defend individuals charged with aggravated assault, sexual assault, and assault with a deadly weapon. He may also defend accused individuals in cases involving domestic violence, assault using a motor vehicle, and juvenile offenders. This person’s job usually involves preparing a legal case and defending a person against charges in a courtroom. It may also involve helping a client to negotiate a deal in which he pleads guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence or convincing a judge that the defendant does not deserve a tough sentence if he is convicted through a trial.
Assault attorneys work on criminal law cases and defend people who are facing assault charges. In most cases, assault charges are applied because a person is accused of attempting to attack another person physically. In some cases, however, a person can be charged with assault for threatening another party with bodily harm. For example, if one party tells another that he is going to shoot him while he is holding a gun in his hand, many courts consider this assault. If a person says he’s going to get a weapon and then come back to harm another person, however, this may not be considered assault in many jurisdictions.
An assault defense attorney typically has the job of ensuring that his client is treated fairly by the court, which usually includes having a fair trial. He usually attempts to convince a court that his client is not guilty of the charges, but this is not always the case. In some cases, an assault defense attorney negotiates a lighter sentence for his client based on the condition that he will plead guilty to the charges. Sometimes a client is convicted of assault despite an attorney's best efforts, however. In such a case, the attorney then focuses his efforts on appealing the conviction or attempting to secure the lightest punishment possible for his client.
To become an assault defense attorney, an individual usually has to complete high school, college, and law school. Often, a person interested in this career also participates in internships as he works toward becoming a lawyer, and choosing an internship that provides exposure to assault cases may prove helpful. After law school, most jurisdictions require aspiring attorneys to pass a legal exam in order to be licensed to practice law.