Aggravated assaults have a wide range of different penalties and sentences. You can go all the way up to a Class 2 felony, which would be if it causes a serious physical injury or involves a deadly weapon involving a police officer. Those types of felonies can also be further enhanced to dangerous felonies. If that happens, it means that even on a first-time offense, you are looking at mandatory prison time.
We have to look at the victim’s level of injury, which matters as to what level of aggravation you are going to fall into, and it could be a very wide range. Oftentimes, we’re able to help our clients out in minimizing what they face in some instances. Again, depending on what the aggravation was, we’ve been very successful at getting our clients undesignated felonies, which means that they become misdemeanors at a later date. And there have been some aggravated assaults where we’ve been able to avoid penalties completely for our clients.
Do You Recommend Pre-Trial Counseling For Clients Charged With Assault?
It depends on the type of case. If this was something where maybe alcohol or some sort of substance abuse was involved, we may look at the case and say, “It may be a good idea to go work with a counselor.” This way we can then show the prosecutor that you sought treatment and are trying to work through some difficult issues. This may also be a way to negotiate the sentencing. But we also then don’t want someone to just immediately go to anger management classes and then show that to a prosecutor, who may look at that and say, “Well, if your client is going to anger management, clearly they have anger issues, and we are worried about that.”
It’s really going to depend on the case, but oftentimes, that’s something that we go over with our clients; and when we have a case plan, that’s where we’re going to utilize pre-trial counseling if it’s a defense strategy. Ultimately, if one of our clients has an outstanding issue, we want them to seek treatment. It’s just whether or not we would use that in the negotiation process.
How Often Is Aggravated Assault Reduced To A Simple Assault?
It happens fairly often, at least with our clients; it really depends on the aggravating circumstances. Many of our clients come to us on a first-time offense and have never really been in trouble before; given these circumstances, we’ve been fairly successful in getting these aggravated assaults reduced ultimately to misdemeanors.
Why Is It Important To Retain An Experienced Attorney To Handle An Assault Charge?
You want to get someone who knows the statutes, knows the different nuances between an aggravated assault and a simple assault because, when that person works in those systems and that’s all they do, they know they’ve got those different options. We’ve been able to think outside the box in getting cases dismissed, in getting better plea negotiations or winning these cases at trial. Going at the case alone is one of the worst things you can do. This is because the prosecutor makes it seem as though they are your friend; but they are not. They are on the other side, they want to get a conviction against you, and anything you say to them, before you hire an attorney and just like the police, could later then be used against you.
That’s really something that you don’t want to happen. A lot of people may think that the victim doesn’t want to prosecute them anymore. So they’ll go into that first court hearing with the victim and think, “I can just get this dismissed because the victim doesn’t want to prosecute.” Once the prosecutors have taken over the case, it’s no longer up to the victim to say, “I don’t want to prosecute”; the state is the one that prosecutes. If you go with an attorney that handles everything under the sun, that that is problematic because, if you are not in the courtroom often and don’t deal with these types of cases, there is too much at stake to have something get simply overlooked because they don’t handle these types of cases often.
It’s important to call a great criminal defense lawyer, so call our office as soon as you have any sort of police contact. It may seem very minimal to you about what happened, but the consequences of a conviction can be extremely harsh. Too often, we have people calling us after it’s too late, or we’re sitting there, trying to undo some of the problems, either because they’ve already tried to handle the case themselves or worked with an attorney who wasn’t capable of handling the case in the first place.
For more information on Penalties For An Assault Conviction, a free case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (480) 400-1355 today.