Have you been threatened or in a fight recently? Defended yourself from harm? Accused of violence? If so, you may be open to assault charges.
Assault cases are defined under Ohio law as “causing or attempting to cause physical harm to another.” Charges can range from simple assault (the attempt to harm an individual) to felonious assault (where serious injury is caused). The penalties are harsh in all cases and include monetary fines and/or possible prison terms even when you may have been defending yourself.
Simple Assault vs. Felony Assault
Assault cases include a very broad range of injury-related crimes and can be quite complicated to define. “Simple assault” can range from a threat or attempt to harm another (such as threatening violence or shoving someone during an argument) to reckless behavior that results in injury (such as a hunting accident). Even if you don’t intend to injure anyone, you can be charged if your actions neglected to consider the safety of those around you.
“Felony assault” is a much more serious crime and refers to violent incidents that include the use of a deadly weapon and/or the intent to cause someone serious harm. It also includes injury that occurs during an attempt to commit another felony, such as arson or rape. This also includes any sexual contact with a minor under 14 years of age.
Sentencing and Representation
Simple assault can often result in a misdemeanor charge and jail time, while felony assault results in fines and time in prison. If you have been arrested or charged, you need the representation of a competent, assertive attorney. The risks of going to court without a good attorney to defend you are too great.