How Does Intent Affect An Assault Charge?

Assault ChargeAn individual needs to have only general intent to commit an assault. It’s not possible to accidentally assault another person. The offender must intend the actions that made up an assault. If an individual acts in a way that’s considered dangerous to other people, then that can be enough to support assault charges. It doesn’t matter if they didn’t intend a particular harm to an individual. An intent to scare of frighten somebody could possibly be enough to establish assault charges. Battery generally doesn’t require any intent to harm the victim. Someone needs to only have an intent to contact or cause contact with another individual.

If somebody acts in a criminally reckless or negligent way that results in such contact, then an assault may have occurred. Keep in mind that accidentally bumping into somebody, even if the victim considers it to be offensive, does not constitute a battery.

How Does The Degree Of Injury Impact An Assault Charge?

The degree of injury that a victim suffers can affect an assault charge by making it a felony or cause other charges to be filed. This can include battery or assault with a dangerous weapon. The more severe the injury, the more severe the potential punishment will be.

What Defense Strategies Can Be Used In Assault Cases?

There’s a variety of defense strategies that can be used in assault cases. The first one is that the defendant didn’t actually have the ability to inflict the force or violence upon the other person. Perhaps the defendant was restrained or in some other state that would render them unable to have actually inflicted the violence they are accused of inflicting. A common defense is self-defense. If somebody assaults and batters another person when they were only acting to defend themselves against another assault and battery, then self-defense could be a good defense. Another defense is that the defendant didn’t act willfully, or with the required intent. This could be accidental contact. For example, just bumping into somebody is insufficient to constitute assault.

Finally, a possible assault and battery defense is that the defendant was wrongfully accused. If there was an event going on where there were multiple people fighting each other, then there could have been someone other than the defendant who assaulted and battered the victim. The victim could have been confused, in a state of intoxication, or in some other altered state that rendered them unable to accurately describe who the perpetrator was.

For more information on How Intent Affects An Assault Charge, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 633-3420 today.

Current as of June 17, 2017.