While most people believe that the legal system exists to protect the innocent, that’s not the whole story. Especially in cases of domestic violence and assault, a simple argument that escalates can leave you facing assault charges. Assault is defined differently by different states but can become a serious felony charge. For anyone facing such charges, deriving from diverse situation like road rage or domestic violence, it is essential to have an assault attorney who can explain the charges against you, the possible defenses, and how to mitigate the situation.
Wrongful convictions can destroy lives
The law protects the innocent. That’s what we’d all like to believe, but each year, around 10,000 people can be wrongfully convicted of serious crimes in the U.S. Given the pressures on the judicial system and prosecutors, that’s not surprising.
New technology and especially DNA evidence makes it clear that the courts do make mistakes, sentencing innocent people to years behind bars for crimes they did not commit. In the U.S. alone, the total number of years spent in prison by innocent people is 3,944. Due to DNA evidence, more than 300 people have had their convictions overturned and been acquitted since 1989.
Consequences of imprisonment on individuals and families
While we’re grateful that these people were eventually vindicated, we should be aware of the hundreds of lives ruined by wrongful convictions. Imprisonment hits individuals and families hard, creating a chain of dissonance that affects multiple lives. Spouses, children, friends, co-workers and neighbors all feel the impact of the incarceration of a single person.
When the person who has been imprisoned is actually innocent of the crime for which they were convicted, the harm is compounded. Families struggle to survive economically, children grow up without their parents and with the stigma of being related to someone who in serving time in prison.
Legal definitions of assault
It’s all too easy for the courts to make mistakes. If you’re facing assault charges, you need an assault attorney to make sure the same fate doesn’t befall you. Assault is defined as creating apprehension of harm in another person, as well as actually causing harm. This includes threats of physical harm as well as actual harm. Some states define assault as a misdemeanor while in other states it is a serious felony charge.
An assault attorney can help you understand the charges against you, the types of defense that can be offered, and the penalties and sentences associated with the charges. An assault attorney can also negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecutor, agreeing to plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for a lighter sentence.
Assault is a serious charge
In some states, assault is considered a felony. Depending on the situation, an assault charge can become a much more serious charge of aggravated assault. An experienced assault attorney can make sure that the charges against you are not magnified.
Assault charges can originate in various types of confrontation like road rage, domestic violence, bar fights, and arguments with neighbors, among other things. Such situations can quickly escalate and even if no one is hurt, assault charges may result.
For anyone facing assault charges, consulting a criminal defense lawyer is a must. While the public defenders are committed and experienced, they are also seriously overworked and overburdened. An assault or domestic violence attorney can make sure that you get the highest level of legal representation to present your defense. Assault attorney services cover everything from an initial consultation to explain your case to negotiating with the prosecutor to representing you in court. For minors, an expungement attorney can make sure that any assault charges do not become a permanent part of your legal record.