There are many types of assault offenses. Simple assault requires a prosecutor to prove that the accused did an act that directly and probably resulted in the application of force to a person and that the accused did not act in self-defense or in defense of someone else. Application of force means to touch another in a harmful or offensive manner. The slightest touching can be enough if it is done in a rude or angry way, and the touching does not have to cause pain or injury of any kind. It is important to note that the prosecutor is not required to prove that the accused actually touched someone or that the accused actually intended to use force against someone else.
There are greater crimes of assault such as an assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon, which are often charged as serious felony offenses.
Self-defense or defense of someone else is a common defense to the crime of assault. The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused did not act in self defense or in defense of someone else. To prevail on this defense, the accused must reasonably believe that he or she or someone else was in imminent danger of suffering bodily injury or was in imminent danger of being touched unlawfully, and he or she reasonably believed that the immediate use of force was necessary to defend against that danger. However, the accused cannot use any more force than was reasonably necessary to defend against the danger. If the accused's beliefs were reasonable, the danger does not need to have actually existed. Although words no matter how offensive and acts that are not threatening are not enough to justify an assault, self-defense may still succeed if the accused was threatened with immediate harm or great bodily injury.
H.A. Sala has handled countless cases of assault including misdemeanors and serious felonies. Investigation into the facts and circumstances are of critical importance in establishing a viable defense of self-defense. It is very important that if the accused is charged by an officer with any form of assault, the accused should insist on speaking to a lawyer before answering any questions.
If you are charged with an assault of any type, contact the Law Offices of H.A. Sala.