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Elements of assault charges

Assault charges can turn very complicated very quickly, depending on many factors that an individual in a heated moment may not consider. If you or someone you love faces some form of assault charges, you should consult with an experienced defense attorney as soon as you can. Understand, the prosecution responsible for pursuing your charges is already building a case against you, so the sooner you begin building your defense, the better.

A number of factors may affect how charges increase or decrease in severity. If, for instance, you face charges after an altercation with a law enforcement officer, you may face stiffer penalties simply because the incident involved an officer of the law. Similarly, if the other party belongs to a certain protected class of individuals, he or she may claim that your altercation is in fact a hate crime.

Similarly, any items or weapons used in the altercation may increase the severity of the charges. If you and someone in a bar get into a heated argument and you grab each other or throw fists, this is generally a different matter than if one of you produces a weapon like a gun or a knife. Even improvised weapons, such as broken bottles, can increase the severity of the charges.

The nature of any injuries suffered may also play a part in the charges. If neither party is seriously injured, but one or both parties produce weapons or use weapons, charges may still stick. If one or both parties face serious injury, this may also affect the matter.

Do not wait to begin building the best defense you can to assault charges. An experienced attorney can help you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case and build a strong defense to protect your rights and possibly defeat the charges altogether.

Source: Findlaw, "Aggravated Assault," accessed Oct. 20, 2017

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