Is Assault and Battery a Felony or a Misdemeanor?
As a criminal defense lawyer Phoenix AZ may provide will tell you, assault and battery crimes could either be felonies or misdemeanors; the designation depends on the severity of the crime. In order to examine what constitutes a misdemeanor and what constitutes a felony, it’s first important to note that “assault and battery” is not actually a single crime. “Assault” is a threat to harm someone, while “battery” is the physical act that actually harms someone.
Below we have outlined some of the most important facets of these crimes. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact a criminal defense lawyer Phoenix AZ has to offer.
The Difference Between Assault and Battery
Any threat or act that causes a person to fear for their safety or believe that they are in immediate danger is considered an assault. A charge of battery is determined by any physical, illegal, or offensive contact. Battery is the charge when the bodily harm is more substantial. In an assault, if a person threatens to cause bodily harm to someone, the charge could be a Class A misdemeanor, unless the nature of the act causes significant bodily harm.
It is also important to understand the term “aggravated” assault and battery. An instance of assault is considered aggravated if it is carried out with a deadly weapon and/or causes potentially fatal injuries to another person.
Domestic assault and battery is very common and is usually considered a misdemeanor. However, if the victim is disabled or elderly, there may be an exception. Additionally, the charge could be upgraded to a felony if the victim was pregnant during the attack.
Misdemeanor vs. Felony
The severity of an assault and battery crime is the determining factor for whether the incident is considered a misdemeanor or a felony. If a person is convicted of assault and battery, the severity of their actions also determines the maximum amount of time for possible incarceration and other penalties. An experienced criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix AZ may be able to get their client’s felony charges reduced to misdemeanor charges.
Involvement With Dangerous Weapons
In determining the charges of aggravated assault and battery incidents, prosecutors typically consider if the perpetrator used any weapons. For instance, a person’s foot is normally not considered a dangerous weapon, but if the perpetrator used their foot with deadly force in the assault, this would affect the type of charge that the prosecution might seek. If the victim was thrown through the windshield of a car, the windshield of the car could be considered a dangerous weapon as well. As any criminal defense lawyer Phoenix AZ can provide might tell you, the use of a weapon typically exacerbates the criminal charges in assault and battery cases.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer Phoenix AZ Residents Trust
A Phoenix criminal defense lawyer may be able to get an aggravated assault and battery case reduced to a misdemeanor through a plea bargain, or negotiate with the prosecution for more lenient penalties. The court may also determine that there isn’t enough evidence to try the case and dismiss it all together.
If you’ve been charged with assault or battery, contact Lorona Mead today to speak with a criminal defense lawyer Phoenix AZ trusts.