A misdemeanor assault is an assault that entails an act that harms or threatens the victim’s safety in some way. The injuries sustained from the assault might not be major, but it is a serious accusation that can result in hefty payments in restitution or jail time.
There are different types of minor assault charges in most states, each type depending on the severity of the actions and injuries sustained from it. These charges can emanate from physically threatening someone even without any physical injuries sustained from the incident to punching someone in the face during a standoff or argument.
Below are some common classifications of misdemeanor assault charges in most states. It is important to note that the names attached to the types might vary from state to state, but they carry similar implications.
Class 3 Minor Assault Charges
A class three assault charge is the lightest potential assault charge in most states. It involves cases where the perpetrator touched the victim to harm, injure, or provoke them. For example, when you push someone in the middle of an argument, that qualifies as a class three minor assault charge. During the trial, the prosecutor has to prove the defendant’s intentions during the event and show them to harm, insult, or provoke the victim.
Depending on the prosecutor’s argument, such as the reason for pushing someone during an argument was to force the victim to the ground, this type of assault charge may stick in a court of law, and you could be jailed or forced to pay some fines or restitution. The most common penalties for this type of assault are 30 days in prison or a one-year probation sentence.
Class 2 Minor Assault Charges
A class two minor assault charge may result from several violations, especially depending on the defendant’s intentions and physical force used during the assault. In this type of assault, the court might find you guilty regardless of whether you injured the victim or not.
In this type of assault, guilt can be determined if you intentionally placed the victim under a ‘reasonable apprehension’ using physical force threatening a physical injury. For example, during an argument, the defendant threatens the victim while yelling and approaching them, making them afraid of being hit. It is important to note that the assailant doesn’t need to hit the victim. The threat alone is enough for the authorities to deem the action as a minor assault charge, and if the prosecutor proves that, you are liable for a prison sentence or some fines.
Besides, an act of recklessness resulting in injuring someone even without the intent can qualify as a class 2 minor assault charge. For example, rowdy actions were done under the influence of alcohol, such as being rowdy inside a bar resulting in injuring someone might result in this type of assault charge.
The punishments for this class of assault charges normally are a jail term of up to 120 days or maximum probation of 2 years. You might also be sentenced to community service, pay fines and restitution, and be sent to mandatory anger management classes.
Class 1 Minor Assault Charges
Class 1 misdemeanor charges are the most serious charges of them all, and they involve acts that result in actual injuries to the plaintiff. They include punching someone in the course of an argument, throwing objects that you know might hurt other people, or other intentional actions resulting in injuries. The prosecutor here is tasked with the job of proving that you intentionally injured the other party.
The penalties for this class of assault are harsher than the others and commonly entail a six-month jail term or a three-year probation sentence. In some instances, you might be sentenced to longer community sentences, payments for fines and restitution, and mandatory attendance to anger management classes.
If you are facing any assault charges, you should not take the matter lightly. It is important to seek the services of a criminal or assault attorney. An attorney will help you understand the charges you face and might come in handy in your defense by getting you a plea bargain that can save you from serving a jail sentence.