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Assault Charges

People have a right to their safety, and a right to be secure from harm. They guard those rights zealously. Therefore, assault, which is an act when one person causes injury to another, is a serious crime with severe consequences.

Sometimes, however, people can place those rights above the basic tenets on justice, and prosecutors might go along. Minor instances become major ones in people's minds, and charges get trumped up and overblown. Sometimes, a person causes injury to another in self defense — which they have a right to do — and prosecutors miss that fact. Sometimes, these charges come from flat-out lies and exaggerated claims. Any of these could lead to injustice in criminal charges.

Huntsville Assault Charge Lawyer

If you've been arrested for this offense, our defense lawyers can help you, no matter your circumstances. They will fight for your rights and your liberty. They will listen to you and look for the truth, and will fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed. If you decide to plead “not guilty,” we will fight the charges in court. If you have made a mistake, we will fight for the maximum measure mercy and try to prevent you from having a criminal conviction.

Call our Huntsville defense lawyers today at (256) 533-4529 or send an online message to set up a free consultation to discuss your charges.

Andrew Segal and Sandra Segal not only have experience representing clients in a criminal court as defense lawyers, they have also both served as prosecutors. Andrew Segal was a prosecutor with the attorney general's office and the District Attorney's Office and Sandra Segal was a prosecutor with the Huntsville City Attorney's Office, where she prosecuted cases in the Municipal Court.

Law Offices Of Segal & Segal believe in practicing with honor and integrity. They get respect from jurors, judges and even prosecutors. They are known as honest and fair dealers. Because a lawyer represents you, their reputation is important in making your case, whether they are negotiating with prosecutors or presenting your case in front of a jury. If you face charges in the Huntsville-Decatur area, whether in Madison, Morgan, Marshall, Limestone or Jackson County, let our defense attorneys represent you.

Information on Assault in Alabama

Three Degrees of Assault Charges

Assault always involves the accused causing an actual physical injury to another person. However, assault is actually three charges, divided by severity of the injury and the circumstances surrounding the charge. Each has a different level of punishment.

Assault in the third degree is the least severe. It involves the accused causing physical injury, and the accused intended either to cause the injury, recklessly caused the injury, causing the injury with criminal negligence with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, or causing the injury while trying to prevent a police officer or other peace officer from performing his or her duty. This offense is a Class A misdemeanor.

Assault in the second degree is more serious and involves a wider range of circumstances. A person charged with this offense is accused of one of the following, and can be charged with a class C felony:

  • Causing serious injury with intent to cause it.
  • Causing injury, with intent to do so or recklessly, with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
  • Causing injury while attempting to prevent a peace officer, detention or correctional officer, emergency medical personnel, a utility worker, or firefighter from performing a lawful duty.
  • Causing injury to any person while attempting to cause injury to a teacher, school employee, nurse, doctor or other health care worker.
  • Administering any kind of drug or substance without consent that causes stupor, unconsciousness or any kind of physical or mental impairment.

Assault in the first degree is the most serious charge. It involves the accused allegedly causing serious bodily injury with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, intentionally disfiguring a person seriously and permanently, intentionally destroying, amputating or permanently disabling a person's limb or other organ, causing serious injury while engaging in reckless behavior that puts a person at grave risk of death with extreme indifference to human life, causing serious injury while engaging in another serious criminal act, or causing serious injury while driving while intoxicated. This offense is a Class B felony.

What are the Criminal Penalties for Assault in Huntsville?

If convicted of a violent crime, the penalties can be tough. Some are laid out below:

Charge Prison Time (Years) Fines (Up to)
Assault in the First Degree 2-20 $30,000
Assault in the Second Degree 1-10 $15,000
Assault in the Third Degree Up to 1 $6,000

Additionally, if you've had prior felony convictions, your penalties may be even tougher.

Jail time and fines may only be the beginning of your punishment. The conviction will be on your criminal record, and may show up on background searches for employment, housing, loans and other purposes. Because it is a violent crime, you'll be labeled a violent criminal. A potential employer may not want to hire someone he or she is afraid of. An apartment building may not want a resident that might be dangerous.

The consequences are too high for you to be not be prepared with a good defense. A Huntsville violent offense attorney can help you build that defense.

Defense Options After Being Charged With Assault

In any criminal case, the prosecution has to prove their case “beyond a reasonable doubt.”  This means that there can be no other scenario, other than some far-fetched or completely improbable one, other than the scenario they present. They have to prove every element to this standard.

For instance, if you are charged with second degree assault because the prosecutor alleges you caused injury with a deadly weapon, the prosecutor must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you caused the injury, that you caused it with a weapon, and that, under the law, the weapon is considered deadly.

A Huntsville assault attorney with a trained and experienced legal eye might catch any failure of the prosecutor to meet his or her burden. An attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecutors to reduce the charges. A downgrade from second degree to third degree assault could make the difference between a felony on your record and a misdemeanor.

Additionally, it's possible for prosecutors to charge people with a crime even though they were acting in self defense. You are allowed to use physical force against a person if you reasonably believe it necessary to defend yourself or a third person from imminent physical force by that person. You may also use force to defend your property. Therefore, a criminal defense lawyer can argue that you were acting in self defense.

Finding the Best Assault Defense Lawyer in Madison County Alabama

If you've been arrested for this offense, let our experienced Huntsville defense attorneys help you. We will fight for your rights, and seek to have the charges reduced or dismissed. The quicker you call, the quicker we can start defending you. Call (256) 533-4529 or send an online message today to set up a free consultation to discuss your charges.