It can happen to anyone, you threaten someone, push them away, and the next thing you know you are facing an assault charge.
According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons on August 8, 2020, there were 4,329 persons in federal prisons for homicide, kidnapping and aggravated assault. That figure does not include those serving time in city and county jails.
Here are five important steps to take if you find yourself facing a criminal assault charge.
Elements of Assault
An assault occurs when one person threatens another person in a way that makes that person fear bodily harm. An assault and battery charge occurs when there is actual physical harm done to another person. To be a crime the actions must meet the elements of assault:
- The act was with the intent of causing fear of a harmful or offensive contact and
- The act did create fear in the victim that a harmful or offensive act would happen
There must be both the verbal words and the intent to cause fear for the threat to be an assault. Further, the victim must have a reasonable apprehension that an offensive contact or injury is imminent.
Five Things to Do When Facing an Assault Charge
When you are facing arrest and assault charges, it is easy to panic and act in ways that are not to your benefit. Do not make these mistakes:
1. Do Not Talk to Police
Police will act like they are on your side and just want to get things cleared up, but their training is to manipulate people into saying what they want. They are seeking to build a case against you.
You do not have an obligation to talk to the police. Advise them you want to exercise your right to have an attorney present during questioning. Do not talk to the police without an attorney present.
2. Do Not Contact the Victim
Do not contact the victim in any manner while the charge is pending. There is likely a no-contact order and any contact will violate that order.
If the victim contacts you do not respond. This includes all forms of contact including tweets, text messages, and Facebook posts.
3. Do Not Talk to Others About the Assault
It is natural to want to discuss the incident with your family and friends. Talking with those people is the equivalent of talking to the police. Anything you say can be used against you if they receive a subpoena to testify in court.
4. Do Not Post About the Assault on Social Media
Everyone has a social media presence, and it is natural to want the support of your online friends. This is a huge mistake. Prosecutors frequent social media platforms for information on defendants.
5. Contact an Assault Attorney
If you believe you may be facing assault charges contact an experienced assault attorney. They will begin working on your defense prior to when charges are filed. Click here for more information on an assault attorney familiar with criminal law.
Take Immediate Action
If you are facing an assault charge the most important step is to take immediate action. This will help secure the best defense possible. Check out our other blogs for more great tips.
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