Simple Assault Charges and Ways to Defend Yourself
Assault charges cover a wide range of activities. Starting from a fistfight to a beggar aggressively asking for money can be a part of assault charges. Moreover, assault charges can be severe crimes or violation of law to another person or just minor misunderstandings. Either way, assault charges can be severe and must be taken seriously.
There are several different types of assaults. Some are very serious where a person may physically injure another person, while another can be assault with weaponry. Besides, sexual assault is as severe as well.
However, simple assault charges are one of the most common types of assaults and charges on simple assault are like an everyday issue in Canadian law and order.
What is Simple Assault Charges?
Simple assaults are the most common changes seen in Canadian National Pardon Center. Every day the city faces simple bar fights, and misunderstandings between two people and the bar manager call to police by charging them for such simple assaults. Moreover, domestic disputes between spouses is a common form of simple assault as well.
An assault can be deemed as simple assault when there is no weapon used and injuries sustained are minor. The outcome of charges depends on the ability of the Crown Prosecutor to prove you guilty. Although it is quite uncommon to face imprisonment, assault charges can send you to jail if proven.
A person committing a simple assault can be guilty in two ways. Firstly, the person has committed an indictable offence. This will likely send the person to jail for a maximum of 5 years. And secondly, the crime committed by the assaulter is punishable enough on summary conviction.
In the summary conviction, the charges against the assaulter are less severe, and the judge directly processes the decision without the help of the jury. On the other hand, in an indictable offence, the assaulter will have to arrive for formal court hearings. The best way to understand and fight charges is to hire a criminal defence attorney.
Difference Between Simple Assaults and Criminal Assaults
As already mentioned, the simple assault is put on people who do not use any kind of weapons to assault someone else. So, one can easily understand that using a potent weapon will turn the simple assault into a criminal assault. Charges against a criminal assault can bring severe punishments to the assaulter.
A simple assault is just a misdemeanour. If a person misbehaves or hurts another person mildly, that person can be charged with a simple assault case. On the other hand, a criminal assault is a type of simple assault that is aggravated by the use of weapons. For instance, a simple theft can be a simple assault, but robbery at gunpoint is a criminal assault.
The Defenses Against Simple Assault Charges
It is recommended to consult defence attorneys to fight the assault charges brought against you. They can help you with creating the following defences:
De Minimus assault
The term ‘de minimus’ refers to the simple assault being so minimal that the court should not consider scheduling a hearing on the matter. A defence attorney can assist in proving that the simple assault is a de minimus. They will put forward an argument that the charges are so inconsequential that the court should dismiss the idea of a jury and hearing.
Suppressing the evidence
At times, the judge can suppress the evidence provided against you. In a simple assault charge, the judge can suppress the evidence related to its relevance to the case and unfair prejudice on the claimed assaulter. Suppressing the evidence will cause the elimination of your guilt on the simple assault charge.
Reduction of punishment
Finally, if the charges against you are proven in the court, the judge will give the verdict on your punishment. A defence attorney can help you in reducing the charges to a lesser intensity. This way, your penalties or punishments should decrease as well.
Fabrication of scenario by the victim
If the victim explains the assault scene in a bombastic or belied way, then you might be able to present a strong defence in your favour. For instance, the victim may explain in such a way that he had to fear of harm, and there was no reason to believe or expect an occurrence was going to happen.
Sometimes, you may mistake an identity and end up assaulting a person that you did not intend to assault. In such cases, your charges may prove you guilty, but you can offer a defence on your support.
Accidents may happen unintentionally, and you might end up assaulting a person you did not imagine of doing. Moreover, you may end up assaulting another person who was not involved in that minor accident.
In such cases, you cannot provide a strong defence on your support. However, if you assaulted the victim from an unintentional accident only, you can prove yourself non-guilty.
Plea Options on the Simple Assault Charges
In simple charges, the defence and the prosecutor may agree on a plea agreement. In general terms, a plea agreement includes guilty with no contest, and the parties present an agreed sentence to present to the judge. The judge typically follows the agreement and gives the decision.
Agreement with jail time
In some assault charges, there is no option but to agree on jail time. If the defendant already possesses a criminal record, the defendant may have to go to jail. Furthermore, any violent domestic assault will also force the defendant to go to jail.
Finally, if the case is so serious that the defendant was seconds away from committing a serious crime, the defendant will surely have to face imprisonment.
Agreement with no jail time
If the charges are not very serious, and the defendant does not possess any criminal record, an agreement can be reached where the defendant only has to face probation. This means that the defendant does not need to go to jail, and with successful completion of the probation period, the charges will be taken away.
Some states provide diversion programs where the defendant does not need to plea his/her innocence. Also, the court does not schedule any hearings provided that the defendant agrees to join the diversion program.
This diversion program includes consultation, staying away from drugs and alcohol, getting a job, and reporting to a probation officer. After successful completion of the diversion program, the charges are dismissed.
Simple assault charges are very general and, like the name suggests, quite simple in nature. However, they can be tricky, complex and frustrating for the defendant at times. Consulting a defence attorney is the best possible action so dismiss any kind of simple assault charges filed against you.