An assault lawyer is a type of criminal defense attorney that represents individuals who have been accused of assault. Like all criminal attorneys, assault lawyers have an advanced knowledge of the laws in this area and how they relate to clients’ cases. The attorney uses this experience and knowledge to ensure the charges against his or her client are legally valid, and to defend him or her in court.
In the eyes of the law, anyone who harms, attempts to harm, or threatens harm toward another person could potentially face assault charges. While each jurisdiction has its own laws regarding such crimes, assault charges typically arise from actions such as hitting or kicking another person. Many individuals, however, may face assault charges for threatening another individual, even if there was no physical harm involved.
Depending on the nature of the offense, a person accused of assault could face a range of criminal charges. In less severe cases, the charge may be classified as a misdemeanor offense, a category reserved for minor criminal acts. If the alleged assault involved a weapon or the victim was seriously injured, however, felony charges may apply. In many cases, the punishment for an assault conviction may also include expensive legal fines, probation, and/or community service. Due to these consequences, assault attorneys are often helpful to individuals who find themselves facing criminal assault charges.
After examining the circumstances of a particular case, an assault lawyer may request a meeting with the prosecutor to submit any evidence he or she has collected that supports his or her client’s innocence. At this time, the assault lawyer may request all charges be dropped, or attempt to negotiate a plea bargain. In cases involving plea bargains, the client agrees to plead guilty to a reduced charge in exchange for a lighter sentence.
Although an assault lawyer attempts to avoid a criminal trial in most cases, if the charges are upheld and the prosecutor does not agree to a plea bargain, he or she is responsible for defending the client in court. During an assault trial, the defense attorney will attempt to create reasonable doubt to prove that his or her client is not guilty of the offense in question. To do this, attorneys may challenge the legality of a client’s charges, or argue that he or she was acting in self-defense when the offense was committed.
As a result of their legal education and training, assault lawyers are very familiar with the assault laws in a particular area. Due to their vast knowledge of these laws, as well as the legal system in general, such an attorney will not only help craft a strong defense for a client, but also ensure that the client’s rights are protected throughout the case. An experienced assault lawyer may even be able to use his or her knowledge to reduce or eliminate assault charges.