There’s no doubt that the threat of a criminal conviction can turn your life upside down. Not only can it impact your reputation in the community and your relationship with your spouse, your family, your friends and your co-workers but it can also lead to other significant penalties. And as you progress through your case, you’re probably going to come face to face with prosecutors who try to lure you into a plea deal.
Before you seriously consider one of those offers, you need to fully understand what’s at stake. Only then can you make a decision that you think is right for you.
What are the penalties for a felony assault conviction
The exact penalties that you’ll face for a felony assault conviction will depend in large part on the type of offense and its severity. Let’s look at some of them to give you a better sense of the penalties that may be implicated in your case:
- Assault with a deadly weapon: A conviction for this offense can result in up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. These penalties hold if the assault occurred with a firearm or with force meant to cause serious bodily injury. Prosecutors also have the ability to seek incarceration for up to one year in county jail rather than prison time.
- Assault on a police officer or firefighter: This offense can result in up to five years in prison. If the assault included a firearm or other deadly weapon, though, you could be facing up to 12 years in prison.
- Sexual assault: A conviction for this offense could lead to up to four years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Keep in mind that assault is often charged with other criminal offenses, too. This may include battery and intimidation. This means that the cumulative penalties that you might face can be staggering.
Defenses to felony assault charges
If you want to avoid those penalties, you need to be prepared to aggressively defend yourself. This may mean raising any of the following arguments:
- That you only physically struck the other individual because you were doing so in self-defense. Here, you’ll have to show that your belief of being physically harmed was reasonable and imminent.
- That you lacked the intent to actually hurt the person and that the whole incident was nothing more than an accident.
- That you’ve been wrongfully accused. This sometimes happens when there’s bad blood between the victim and the accused individual. Here, you’ll want to make sure that you point out any bias and attack witness credibility to ensure that you’re protecting yourself as fully as possible.
- That mitigating factors exist so that you avoid felony conviction. This isn’t as great as fighting for an outright acquittal, but sometimes it’s your only option.
Are you ready to fight for your future?
The prosecution isn’t going to let up on you. If you want to protect yourself, your rights and your future, you need to know how to craft a persuasive and legally sound criminal defense. An attorney who has handled a lot of these cases before will know how to analyze the facts at hand and diligently work to build the defense that you need on your side. They’ll attack witness credibility, seek to suppress evidence and not back down from overzealous prosecutors.
If that’s the kind of advocate whom you want on your side, you may want to think about reaching out to the legal team that you think is right for you.