Third Degree Assault
Alabama assault charges can often produce many unwanted consequences penalties that range from hefty fines to lengthy periods of incarceration. Alabama has several types of assault charges on the books, with various assault degrees (misdemeanor or felony).
Third degree assault in Alabama is considered a misdemeanor charge and not an Alabama felony assault and is prosecuted accordingly. In Alabama, assault in the 1st degree is a felony as is 2nd degree assault. In these instances, death or great bodily harm are involved.
With that said, if you are facing an assault charge in Alabama, it is crucial that you contact an experienced assault lawyer in Alabama immediately. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to build a strong case that can help effectively reduce or dismiss any penalties you may be facing.Charging an Alabama 3rd Degree Assault
Third degree assault in Alabama is a Class A misdemeanor. These provisions are found in Alabama Criminal Code Section 13A-6-22.
The assault 3 crime is committed by engaging in one of four theories for police to make the charge, which includes criminal negligence:
- When a person intends to cause physical injury to another person and does so
- When a person recklessly causes physical injury to another person
- When a person with negligence causes physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument
- When a person has an intent to prevent a peace officer from performing a lawful duty and causes injury to any person
The elements of a third degree assault charge in Alabama are that a physical injury took place, and that a person with an intent or with a reckless or negligent conduct created a physical injury.Penalties for Assault in the 3rd Degree
Third degree assault in Alabama is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which is the highest degree of misdemeanor. The range of penalties, if prosecuted in a municipal court, is a fine of up to $500 plus court costs and up to 180 days in the city jail. If a third-degree assault charge is prosecuted through the state court system, the range of punishment is up to a $6,000 fine and up to one year in the county jail.Where are Assault in the Third-Degree Cases Heard?
The law enforcement agency bringing the prosecution dictates where the case is heard. When it is prosecuted by a municipality, the case begins in the municipal court where every trial is heard only in front of a judge. However, there is an appeal right that would remove the case to the circuit court of the county where a person could request a jury to hear their case.
When a third-degree assault charge is brought by the state courts, the case will begin in the district court, which is similar to the municipal court in that any trial is only heard in front of the judge or a bench trial. An individual has the same appeal right from district court to circuit court where they could have a jury hear the case. No matter where the case begins in Alabama, a person can have a jury determine their guilt or innocence. Assault charges typically begin as bench trials but can evolve in the jury trials if need be.Expect Painful Penalties for Life with an Assault Conviction
Someone facing a third-degree assault charge should be concerned even though it is just a misdemeanor offense. If a person is convicted, it creates a permanent record without the possibility of expungement and could impact a person's ability to possess a firearm.
Further, if a person has any custody of children or plans on having any custody of children in the future, a conviction of third degree assault could be a negative factor that a court may look at when awarding custody or visitation rights. Contact our attorneys near me in Alabama, for aggressive defense of such assault charges.Links: