Assault charges often have a negative stigma that is commonly associated with violent crimes. In addition to the criminal penalties for acts under the proverbial umbrella for assault, a conviction can make it difficult to secure employment, impact custodial arrangements, and, depending on the circumstances, could result in a restraining order as well.
Assault charges often follow an altercation. The incident that led to the charge may not constitute assault or may have been a defense, such as protecting oneself after being attacked. In any event, when a person is charged with assault in Cherokee County, the best option is to consult with an experienced Cherokee County assault lawyer to ensure that her or his rights and interests are protected. To begin building a defense for your case, or discuss the various legal options at your disposal call and schedule a consultation with a Cherokee criminal defense lawyer today.
Elements of Assault
Attempting to cause violent injury to another person or engaging in an act that places another person in reasonable fear of imminent violence constitutes simple assault in Cherokee County. It is a misdemeanor offense that is punishable by up to 12 months’ incarceration and a fine that does not exceed $1,000.
When simple assault occurs against a relative, spouse, partner, former spouse, or former partner, the charge is elevated to an aggravated misdemeanor.
Additionally, when it is against a public-school employee that is acting in their official capacity, the victim is pregnant, or the victim is over the age of 65, the offense is also elevated to an aggravated misdemeanor. An aggravated misdemeanor is punishable with a fine up to $5,000 and up to 12 months’ incarceration making it important that a Cherokee County assault attorney is contacted.
Aggravated Assault Charges
Aggravated assault is assault with an object or instrument that does or is likely to seriously injure the other person for the purpose of engaging in another felony offense. It is punishable with imprisonment from one to 20 years.
When the victim of an assault is over the age of 65 or a peace officer who is acting in their official capacity, the act also rises to aggravated assault. Three years is the minimum sentence for aggravated assault when the victim is 65 or older. When the victim is a peace officer, the minimum sentence for aggravated assault is five years imprisonment. Avoid these penalties with a Cherokee County assault lawyer.
How a Cherokee County Assault Attorney Can Help
Knowing all of the legal options available and being familiar with the local court is important when facing serious criminal charges. A lack of knowledge can make the entire process feel overwhelming. For those reasons and many others, it is imperative for a person charged with assault in Cherokee County to contact a local attorney for assistance.
It is important for an attorney to begin crafting a defense soon after a client is charged with assault. In most assault cases, the crux of the case will vary based on witness testimony, and what a person remembers can impact the seriousness of the charge.
Selecting an attorney shortly after being charged increases the chances that an attorney can investigate the incident to determine the most effective strategy based on the evidence that is immediately available.
The outcome of a case can improve dramatically when an attorney takes a personalized approach to the case. A Cherokee County assault attorney should be able to identify conflicts in witness statements and when the evidence alleged differs from the evidence available, among other details, to find the best option for any case. Whether that option is to proceed to a trial or negotiate a plea agreement, the client’s best interest is always the deciding factor.