Charges of assault in Alabama must be taken with extreme seriousness, considering the potential ramifications of conviction. Onerous terms of imprisonment, substantial fines, and other long-lasting consequences can only be avoided or mitigated with the help of experienced counsel.
An Alabama assault lawyer stands prepared to investigate the facts of your case, identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s arguments and help achieve the most beneficial outcome possible for you.
There are varying classifications of assault charges in Alabama, and it is wise for citizens to familiarize themselves with the distinctions in degree and prospective punishments for each one. No matter the degree of the charge, it is of the utmost importance to immediately contact an experienced Alabama assault attorney to help an individual understand the ramifications of their charge. The primary classifications of assault crimes are as follows.
First Degree Assault
Assault in the first degree is a Class B felony, pursuant to Alabama Code § 13A-6-20, and it is committed when an individual causes physical injury to another with the intent to do so by means of a deadly weapon, or with the intent to cause permanent disfigurement or disability. It can also be considered when an individual intends to cause injury, and in the course of attempting or committing one of several felony offenses while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Second Degree Assault
Second degree assault is considered a Class C felony, and is committed when an individual causes serious injury to another with intent to do so, uses a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument to carry out that intent, or recklessly causes serious injury by means of a weapon.
It can also be considered when an individual intends to prevent a peace officer or care worker from performing a lawful duty and causes injury, or intentionally causes impairment to another by administering drugs or other substances without their consent.
Third Degree Assault
Third degree assault is considered a Class A misdemeanor, and occurs when an individual intentionally, recklessly, or with criminal negligence, causes physical injury to another, acts with intent to prevent a peace officer from performing their lawful duty, or causes physical harm to another.
Official Sanctions for Assault Convictions
The potential punishments for assault convictions in Alabama can be quite severe, making an aggressive defense essential for anyone facing charges. While assault in the third degree carries upwards of one year in jail and a possible fine of up to $6,000, second degree assault can result in a prison term of up to a decade and a fine of up to $15,000. The severity of these punishments can best be handled with the assistance of a knowledgeable Alabama assault lawyer.
First degree assault charges have the potential to put defendants in prison for up to 20 years and force payment of fines reaching up to $30,000. There is no time to waste in taking all possible steps to have charges reduced, dropped altogether or, when those outcomes prove unlikely, to seek mitigation of resulting penalties through the use of an Alabama assault attorney.
Ancillary Consequences of Conviction
There can be no doubt the state-imposed sanctions for assault convictions are enough on their own to derail an otherwise productive life, but the fact is there are many more unofficial consequences to having a criminal record.
Those found guilty of assault in Alabama may find it difficult to keep or obtain gainful employment, and they may face significant hurdles if they wish to join the armed forces. Social stigma attaches to those with histories of criminal assault, and the damage to professional reputation, personal relationships, and community standing can be tough to overcome. These can potentially be avoided with the aid of an Alabama assault attorney.
Importance of an Attorney
It is all too easy to give in to the feelings of doubt and fear an assault charge can bring, but if you are facing criminal charges, it is helpful to know that effective arguments such as self-defense, duress and defense of others may well exist in your case, which can greatly improve the chances of a positive outcome. An Alabama assault lawyer will be able to affectively build your case for the best possible outcome.