Are you the victim of an assault? Maybe you know someone who is, or you’ve witnessed one take place. Either way, an assault is a serious offense in the eyes of the law, and pressing charges against an individual or group of people is an effective way to begin the process of finding justice, closure, and peace. Whether you’ve seen an assault happen or experienced it firsthand, it is extremely important to know what your options are. Here’s a look at how to press charges after an assault:
Pressing Charges For Assault
Whether you are the victim of an assault, or you’ve found yourself being the aggressor (or assailant) in a physical altercation, knowing the terms and consequences is important so you can properly protect yourself. Let’s dive into the types of assault charges you can file.
Types of Assault Charges
When it comes to pressing charges, many people will use the term assault to describe what happens when an aggressor harms a victim. However, there are many different terms that are used when describing these crimes. A lot of times you will hear the terms “assault” and “battery” used interchangeably. And while they naturally overlap, there is a difference between the two when it comes to specific charges that can be filed against a person.
By definition, an assault occurs when one person commits actions that put another person in a situation where he or she can reasonably fear that he or she will be physically harmed. Battery, on the other hand, is when the aggressor physically harms someone. Both assault and battery can be classified as civil or criminal.
Simple Assault – This is an attempted battery or threat. The aggressor must have the intention of hurting the victim, regardless of whether they do or not. To be considered simple assault, it must be reasonable for the victim to believe that the aggressor was going to harm them. There also must be some sort of harm involved, whether it is physical harm or the fear of physical harm. The consequence of a simple assault usually results in a misdemeanor.
Aggravated Assault – Aggravated assault, on the other hand, is more involved than simple assault. These crimes typically involve the use of a weapon and result in serious injury to the victim. When being tried in court, the crime is normally classified as a felony depending on the harm.
Battery – Battery is when an aggressor follows through with physically harming someone.
Both assault and battery are criminal acts and are punishable by court. The most common punishments for assault and battery are jail time and fines. Keep in mind, some jurisdictions join the terms assault and battery to describe cases that involve elements of both crimes.
How To Press Charges For An Assault
When you have made the decision to file charges after an assault, you need to visit your local police department. For whatever reason, if you are not physically able to visit the police station, you may call them over the phone.
All you have to do to kickstart the process is express that you want to press charges. From there, the authorities will request follow-up information from you in order to accurately fill out the assault report. Generally, this information includes the victim’s name, the assailant’s name, both their addresses (if known), where the assault occurred, the date and time that it occurred, how it occurred, and more.
Hiring an Assault and Battery Lawyer
If you are looking to press charges for an assault, or if you already have pressed charges, it is advisable to find legal representation. Victims who have been harmed by an aggressor in an assault should hire a personal injury lawyer. The attorney will be able to help you pursue a lawsuit against the aggressor for the physical and mental damages they have caused.
If you are the one being accused of assault or battery, look for a criminal defense lawyer to represent you. However, if the victim is suing you for their injuries, hiring a personal injury defense lawyer will be your best bet.