What Constitutes Simple Assault
While the legal definition varies from place to place, the basic constituent of a simple assault is an act of misdemeanor. In simple terms, an act of violence, which results in injury to another person, is known as simple assault. This covers domestic violence, which could be between spouses, parents, and kids, siblings or other relatives; and an act of misdemeanor against both known and unknown persons. Even a minor scuffle between two people could result in charges of simple assault being brought by either party against the other. An act of violence against an unborn child by anyone including the mother is also constituted as simple assault.
Can all Fights be Termed as Assault?
For most attorneys, a simple assault charge is probably the most common case to deal with. In the majority of instances, this sort of misdemeanor takes place due to sudden anger – either provoked or unprovoked, sometimes resulting in a heated discussion and leading to a physical fight. While the cause of the argument/fight could be something very minor or of no consequence, the damages due to this misdemeanor, could be huge and end up hurting the person all his life. However, not all physical fights can be termed as simple assault. Jamison Koehler of KoehlerLaw.net explains that if you fear that you or your property are in immediate danger, you have the right to use the necessary force to defend yourself or your property.
Basic Consequences of Simple Assault
A sudden rush of blood leading to a fight can leave behind consequences that could leave its mark on your entire life. A fight at school or college could result in simple disciplinary action, but could also lead to expulsion from the institute. Fights at the workplace can result in losing the job and your source of income. Domestic violence could lead to strained relationships or even a breakup. While there is the emotional trauma associated with any such incident, there is also the reputation of the person in a society that suffers.
Professional Consequences of Simple Assault
It does not have to be a case of simple assault in the workplace to affect a person’s professional life. While any misdemeanor at the workplace will directly affect the professional life of the person, even cases outside the workplace can have an adverse effect on the work front. Aside from the loss of reputation and trust, the pressures of attending court dates along with the chances of imprisonment if convicted can take its toll on the professional front.
Results of Getting Convicted
A conviction could, and normally would result in losing the job. The chance of finding another job is rather bleak if the person has a criminal record. Unlike earlier days, technology has made it possible for prospective employers to check the background of job applicants to the hilt. Lying about a conviction is never a good idea, as discovery would lead to automatic disqualification. The flip side is that if the person is honest about the conviction for assault and puts it down in his application, it will flag the candidate as a trouble maker and someone who lacks moral character. The chances are that prospective employers would see a convicted person as a risk to other employees and the reputation of the company.
Things get even worse for those working with professional licenses as the license is likely to be revoked. A simple assault conviction relating to domestic violence can end the convicted person’s career – especially for those employed in areas like healthcare, education, law, accounting and many such.
Legal Consequences of Simple Assault
A simple assault charge could carry fines and even imprisonment if convicted. Depending on the jurisdiction where the simple assault incident took place, and if convicted, the penalty and/or fines will vary. While a conviction for first-time offenders (in case of a small misdemeanor) could range from six months to two years imprisonment with probation; for multiple offenders or someone with a criminal history, the sentence would be much longer.
The courts could also order the convicted person to join/attend anger management classes. This is more common in domestic violence cases, where the charges could be reduced to disorderly conduct if the convicted person agrees to join anger management classes. However, this would depend on other circumstances of the case and would rest wholly on the judge to decide. Unless the convicted person decides to attend such diversion programs, the conviction will remain on record forever. Attending these programs gives the convicted person an opportunity to get the slate clean.
Getting Legal Help
It might seem a bit harsh to be punished so severely for something that happened unintentionally in a fit of anger or frustration. Conviction in simple assault cases carry a social repercussion, hence it is best to avoid getting convicted. A good lawyer will help by putting in plea bargains, probation, anger management programs and other options that will avoid a conviction entry in the records. Every person has and reserves the right to defend themselves – a good defense lawyer is the right person to do the job. There are people who feel that they are innocent and hence can fight their case themselves. However, it is not enough to just believe that their innocence will sort the problem – the courts require proof, paperwork, and other legal procedures before passing judgment. Unless they are familiar with the legal aspects, risks, and obstacles it is advisable to leave the job to a professional lawyer. The benefits of hiring a professional during this time of stress are multifold.
Hire an Attorney for Criminal Defense
Their knowledge of criminal law and court procedures are important tools to help fight the case. They help in protecting their client’s rights, mounting a strong defense and provide emotional and moral support. A good lawyer will ensure that their client is not intimidated by the trial sessions or badgered by the prosecution. Their expertise in offering alternate options to conviction and bargaining to reduce penalties is probably the biggest reason to hire them. They help ensure that the client’s record remains clean.