Metairie Assault Lawyer

Few people wake up in the morning planning to be arrested and charged with assault. Most assaults are unplanned. No wonder so many people seem confused and overwhelmed in the aftermath of an arrest. Not all assault allegations are true—those charges can be even more shocking to a defendant. Whichever circumstance applies to you, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Talking your way out of criminal charges is a fantasy that police and prosecutors encourage defendants to believe. It gets people talking, leading to incriminating statements. Talking is dangerous for people who are guilty, but it is also dangerous for innocent people. Even innocuous statements can seem incriminating in the wrong context and help law enforcement build a case against you. If you are charged with a crime, you should speak with a Metairie assault lawyer as soon as possible.

The Difference Between Assault and Battery

When people talk about assault, they usually mean battery. According to Louisiana Statutes § 14.33 et seq., a battery involves harmful or offensive physical contact. Touch is a required element to prove a battery, while assault does not require touching. Instead, fearing a battery establishes an assault.

Almost all battery cases include an assault since the alleged victim will usually experience fear just before the unwanted physical contact.

Understanding the difference between assault and battery—and their subtypes—is vital for a criminal defendant. These include:

  • Simple battery
  • Second-degree battery
  • Aggravated assault
  • Aggravated assault and battery
  • Domestic abuse battery
  • Sexual assault

Coordinating a defense strategy involves a Metairie lawyer hearing the charges against the accused individual and understanding the facts behind those charges.

Assault Is the Fear of Physical Force

Assaulting a person involves more than a threat to do physical harm; it requires the ability to carry out that threat. The threat can be physical or verbal, so any attempt to batter someone is an assault.

Using a deadly weapon to threaten or attempt to hurt someone elevates the charge to aggravated assault. A deadly weapon is any weapon that could seriously harm or threaten someone. It does not have to be a tool designed to hurt someone, like a gun. It can be a household object, a knife, or anything that can cause serious harm. Aggravated assault is a misdemeanor with a potential sentence of up to a $1,000 fine and six months in prison.

Using a gun makes the crime a felony. The state classifies aggravated assault with a firearm as a violent crime. Not only does that increase the potential sentence, but it can also lead to a 10-year post-sentence prohibition on owning a firearm. A well-practiced lawyer in Metairie could help defendants understand the potential consequences of assault charges.

Battery Requires Touching

Battery is the infliction of force on someone else. Proving that a defendant made contact with the alleged victim—either with the defendant’s body or with an object—is an essential component of the charge. Simple battery is touching a person without their consent, as long as the touch is offensive or leads to physical injury.

Several factors can change the severity of a battery charge, including a defendant’s relationship with the alleged victim. Domestic abuse battery means the alleged victim is a household member. Depending on the circumstances and prior history, it may be a felony or a misdemeanor. Using a weapon elevates the charge to aggravated battery. Second-degree battery involves inflicting severe bodily injury without using a weapon. Aggravated second-degree battery involves inflicting serious bodily injury while using a weapon.

The specific charge is significant. If the state classifies the charge as a violent crime, a defendant must serve 85 percent of their sentence before release. They are also ineligible for some pre-trial diversions. A critical role of a Metairie assault attorney is negotiating the level of charges.

Consult With a Metairie Attorney If You Are Facing Assault Charges

When facing criminal charges, consulting with a skilled legal professional is essential. The consequences of a conviction for assault or battery can be severe. In addition to lengthy prison sentences and potential fines, convicted defendants must pay restitution to victims.

Plus, convictions for violent offenses come with a range of other consequences. It can impact your future employment opportunities, influence custody decisions, and affect your right to own a weapon. A Metairie assault lawyer could assess your case and develop a defense strategy based on the facts. Schedule a consultation today.


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