Assault Practice Center

Assault may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case and the law of the jurisdiction. If you have been accused of assault, call today to schedule a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Assault

Q: What is the definition of "assault"?

A: Assault is the most commonly committed violent crime in the U.S. In many states, assaults are classified as either "simple" or "aggravated." A simple assault is making another person apprehensive of a physical attack or negligently causing injury to another person with a weapon. The exact definition, however, depends upon the state in which the alleged crime takes place. Aggravated assault is assault that occurs in conjunction with an attempt to cause serious injury or commit another crime; often, a deadly weapon is involved. A defendant may be convicted of aggravated assault even if the victim was not physically hurt.

Q: How is "assault" different from "battery"?

A: Traditionally, if the victim has been actually touched by the person committing the crime, then a battery has occurred. If the victim has not been touched, but only threatened, then the crime is assault. In many states, the distinction between assault and battery has been abolished and either type of action may be charged as an assault.

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Criminal Assault - An Overview

Being convicted of assault can bring serious penalties, including jail or prison time, fines and probation. Although the specific definition of assault varies by jurisdiction, it is typically viewed as the act of putting another person in fear of harm or offensive contact by the use of force or the threat of force. Some jurisdictions also consider an intentional injury to be an assault. If you have been charged with assault, it is important to know the law and procedures of your state and county. Seek the advice of an experienced attorney from Law Office of Gayle J. Brown in Anchorage, AK, as you determine how to fight the charges.

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Assault and Battery

Assault and battery are two separate crimes. Each may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on how the crime was allegedly carried out, the nature of the injuries that resulted and the laws of the jurisdiction.

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Sexual Assault

Many states have undertaken a revision of their rape and sexual assault laws, creating a broad set of sexually related crimes. These crimes are often referred to collectively as sexual assault, criminal sexual conduct or sexual abuse. The chief characteristic of these laws is that they prohibit doing any type of sexual act with another person against that person's will. Generally, it is not necessary to show physical resistance on the part of the victim, only that the victim did not consent to the act.

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Domestic Assault

If you have been accused of domestic violence, you may be facing an uphill battle. Many states have strengthened their laws on domestic violence, making arrest and prosecution mandatory regardless of what the alleged victim wishes to do. No matter how your state or county handles allegations of domestic violence, it is important to mount a vigorous defense.

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Coping With the Assault Arrest of a Family Member

If someone in your family has been arrested for assault, you probably aren't sure where to turn or what to do next. If you (or another family member) were the victim of the assault, that only complicates the situation. While your family member's arrest is a daunting situation, you can do several things right away to gain information and control. A positive first step is to contact an attorney who will guide you through the complicated maze of the justice system.

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Criminal Assault Resource Links

Criminal Law: An Overview
The Legal Information Institute (LII) provides basic information on how the criminal law system works.

Uniform Crime Reports
The Uniform Crime Reporting Program of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) tracks the overall crime numbers and statistical fluctuations of 17,000 law enforcement agencies.

Bureau of Justice Statistics
The federal Bureau of Justice Statistics gathers, analyzes and publishes information on how both offenders and victims are treated by the criminal justice system.

The Sentencing Project
The Sentencing Project works to reform criminal sentencing laws and promote alternatives to incarceration.

Violence Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is committed to the prevention of child abuse, domestic violence, sexual crimes and youth violence.

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