If you face assault charges, you might not be taking them as seriously as you need to. You might assume that the charges will disappear once you prove that you are innocent. You might also be tempted to quickly accept a plea deal to bring the matter to a close. However, as an experienced criminal defense attorney could tell you, pleading guilty without examining alternative choices is not usually the best solution. You should consult with an Erlanger assault lawyer to discuss the case.
The Intent of the Defendant in an Assault Case
Under Kentucky law, an assault is the touching of another person without their consent, resulting in some sort of injury. State law recognizes a few different kinds of assaults.
Reckless or Wanton Assault
A reckless assault occurs when a person engages in certain behavior but does not recognize that there is a risk. For example, a person who inadvertently runs a red light and hits another car has committed a reckless assault.
A wanton assault happens when a defendant recognizes the risks that are present but still assaults another person. The defendant in a wanton assault consciously disregards the substantial risk that the action holds. A reasonable person in a similar situation would recognize the risk and act differently. For instance, a person who drinks multiple beers at a party, then chooses to drive, and injures people in a crash, commits a wanton assault by their conscious disregard of the risk that driving drunk would pose to others.
An intentional assault occurs when an individual wrongfully and willfully engages in conduct with the intent to cause a certain result. For example, a person who intentionally attacks another person with a deadly weapon commits an intentional assault.
The intent of the defendant can affect the degree of the assault charge. An assault attorney in Erlanger could help a person gather and present evidence regarding their state of mind at the time of the incident in order to mitigate the charges.
Degrees of Assault Charges and Penalties in Erlanger
People facing assault charges in Erlanger can face either felony or misdemeanor charges, depending on the severity of the alleged crime and their intent.
Assault in the 1st Degree
A person is guilty of a Class B felony assault in the first degree when they use a deadly or dangerous weapon or instrument to intentionally cause a serious physical injury to another person. People are also guilty of assault in the first degree when they, with an extreme indifference to human life, wantonly engage in conduct that causes a serious risk of death to another person and results in a serious physical injury. If convicted, a person could spend 10 to 20 years in prison.
Assault in the 2nd Degree
A person is guilty of a second-degree Class C felony when they intentionally cause a severe physical injury to another person or wantonly cause bodily harm to another person with a deadly weapon. A conviction could bring a 5-to-10-year jail term.
Assault in the 3rd Degree
A person is guilty of a third-degree Class D felony when they intentionally harm or try to cause harm to particular classes of individuals, such as teachers, peace officers, probation officers, or other state or federal employees. They could face a 1-to-5-year prison term upon conviction.
Assault in the 4th Degree
A person is guilty of a fourth-degree Class A misdemeanor if they wantonly or intentionally hurt another person or recklessly hurt someone using a deadly weapon. A conviction could bring up to a year in prison.
An Erlanger assault defense attorney could help someone fight any of the above charges in order to protect their freedom.
Find a Legal Partner with an Erlanger Assault Attorney
If convicted on assault charges, your life could be upended in an unpredictable way. You could face a time behind bars, and your personal and professional reputations could suffer.
An Erlanger assault lawyer might be able to help you fight those charges by devising an effective defense strategy. With their hard work and experience, they could work towards the best possible outcome. Call today to discuss your situation.