According to TheFreeDictionary.com, assault & battery is when a person hits another person with their hand or any other object. When it comes specifically to criminal law, an assault & battery charge includes the verbal threat of attack on another individual, followed by a physical attack with the intent to cause harm to another person.
If you have been charged with assault & battery, the first thing you should do is hire a qualified attorney. The lawyer you hire should have extensive experience in handling assault & battery cases, and have won most of them. Any cases that your lawyer didn't win should have been settled out of court in his or her client's favor. Keep reading to learn more about what you can expect from your lawyer:
Now that you've hired a competent lawyer to take your case, he or she will begin an investigation surrounding the details of your assault & battery charge. This investigation is independent of the police investigation that may also be taking place. While investigating your case, the lawyer will:
Analyze the circumstances surrounding your case.
Study the specifics about your personal situation.
Explore the events surrounding your arrest.
Speak with any witnesses.
After completing an investigation, the attorney will decide the best course of action to win your case. The attorney will usually to try to get the assault & battery charges against you dropped, lessen the charges, or plea bargain for a shorter and less intense sentence. According to Assaultlawyer.net, the most common way to avoid a criminal charge in a situation like this is to convince the court that you were acting in self defense. Your lawyer will know if this is the best defense for you, or not.
Representing You In Court
Assault & battery charges can range from a minor misdemeanor to a major felony, depending on the situation. In most cases, the more injuries the victim has sustained, the more severe the charges are. Depending on the specific type of assault & battery charge against you, your lawyer will defend you in court. He or she knows the laws surrounding assault & battery charges, as well as what a police officer can and cannot do when arresting someone and charging them with a crime. Your lawyer's job is to convince the judge and jury that you are innocent, or prove why you should receive the shortest/smallest sentence possible. And oftentimes, they can do all of this without you having to take the stand.
For example, if you are charged with a misdemeanor assault & battery charge, your lawyer may try to prove that you were acting in self defense so the charges against you will be dropped. Or, if you're looking at a felony assault & battery charge, your lawyer may only be able to try and reduce your sentence or lower the settlement amount you have to pay the victim.
After your trial, you will be found guilty or innocent. If you are found innocent, the charges will be dropped and you will be acquitted of the crime. If you are found guilty, you will come back to court another day to receive your sentence. The average sentence for a person convicted of assault & battery ranges from community service to many years in jail, depending on the state you live in and the severity of your charges. Your lawyer will bargain on your behalf in order to get your jail time reduced as much as possible.
In some cases, especially when a person is charged with minor assault & battery, the defendant doesn't have to appear in court. Instead, the opposing side is agreeable to settling the matter out of court. In this instance, your lawyer will handle all the negotiations on your behalf, which often occur over the telephone or in small meetings. He or she will work hard to make sure the settlement is in your best interest.
This is a simple overview of what you can expect if you've been charged with assault & battery. Hiring a lawyer should be your first concern after being arrested, so you will have someone to fight for a lesser charge and punishment on your behalf. Your lawyer will help you through your entire case proceedings. If you have any questions about being arrested for assault & battery, then call an experienced lawyer.