3 Types Of Criminal Assault

Posted on: 23 May 2019

Many criminal laws are enacted by both the federal government and state governments. This means that the laws pertaining to criminal charges can vary slightly from one state to another. Despite these variations, there are three primary types of criminal assault that exist in all states.

Persons accused of assault can be charged with criminal assault, assault and battery, or aggravated assault. 

1. Criminal Assault

If you assume that an assault charge can only be filed for physical violence, you are not alone. The fact of the matter is that most state laws define criminal assault as any intentional act that threatens or causes physical harm.

The mere threat of physical harm could be enough to warrant a criminal assault charge. You must have an experienced defense attorney to ensure that you are able to navigate your criminal assault charges to minimize the amount of damage caused should you be found guilty.

2. Assault and Battery

An assault and battery charge is similar to a criminal assault charge, with two major differences. First, physical harm must occur. A mere threat is not enough to warrant an assault and battery charge, since the battery portion of the charges indicate that bodily harm has occurred.

The second major difference between a criminal assault and assault and battery is the intention of the individual. While criminal assault requires that harm be caused intentionally, assault and battery can also apply to individuals who engage in reckless behavior that results in physical injury.

3. Aggravated Assault

Criminal assault and assault and battery charges can be misdemeanors. An aggravated assault charge is a felony. This means that a conviction could affect your ability to own a firearm, obtain employment, or rent an apartment in the future.

Aggravated assault can involve a weapon. The weapon can be anything from a firearm or knife, to a blunt object or household item. If the assault occurs during the commission (or intended commission) of a more serious crime, then it can be classified as an aggravated assault.

There are three degrees of severity when it comes to aggravated assault. Each carries its own minimum punishment, so the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney is essential if you are facing an aggravated assault charge. Your attorney can identify any mitigating factors that might allow you to negotiate a reduction in the severity of your charges to keep prison time and other penalties to a minimum.