When a person is accused of assault, it is for unlawfully attacking another person, or for threatening to attack someone. The penalties for this offense are very severe in most states, including fines and jail time. If you’re facing assault charges, or worry that you might be, here are the steps you must take.
1. Contact a qualified criminal defense attorney
The very first thing you should do when you’ve been charged with assault is contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer. A qualified attorney will help you navigate the ins and outs of your charges, protect your rights in court, and may even be able to get your case dismissed.
2. Do your research
The more information you have, the better. If you already know what your charges are based on, look up the laws in your state that apply to this offense. This will help you understand whether or not your charges are appropriate under the law. For example, if someone was seriously injured during the incident that brought about your assault charges, it’s likely that you’ll be charged with a more serious crime. Review the laws of your state to see if an injury like this would warrant higher penalties. This will help you understand what changes might need to be implemented in your defense strategy, or whether or not it’s necessary for you to hire legal representation at all.
3. Prepare for your court hearing
Many times, assault charges are brought against someone with the intent of getting that person to comply with the demands of the accuser. For example, if you’re involved in an argument, one or both parties may call the police and claim that an assault occurred. Police will then arrest you (usually without any evidence or witnesses) and make you appear before a judge. This is all done to force you to do what the other party wants, such as pay them money or drop charges. You need to be prepared for this type of trickery in order to protect your rights and ensure that you’re treated fairly by the legal system.
4. Don’t speak with law enforcement
It’s very likely that at some point during your case, you’ll be approached by a law enforcement official to answer questions. It may be an officer who wants to hear your side of the story or a detective who’s continuing the investigation into the incident. Whatever their reason for speaking with you, whatever you say can and will be used against you in court. So, it’s crucial that you don’t say anything at all to the police. Let your legal representatives handle all communications with law enforcement.
5. Don’t take any plea deals
Even if your charges could be reduced or dropped if you just plead guilty, don’t agree to it until you’ve discussed these terms with an attorney. Plea deals are often put in place for a reason, and you need to understand exactly what you’re pleading guilty to and what penalties come along with that plea before you agree to anything.
6. Document everything
Most importantly, keep detailed notes of what happens before, during, and after your court hearing. Note everything that happens, including who spoke to you and when, what they said, how you were treated by the police or other authorities involved in your case, etc. This is all evidence that can be used in your defense strategy. Make sure to take note of anything that seems out of place (such as an officer arriving late for a court hearing) or anything that you believe will help your case.
7. Be prepared to defend yourself in court
You don’t have to go it alone when defending yourself against assault charges-you can enlist the aid of a qualified defense attorney! But no matter who’s representing you, be ready to tell your side of the story and to hold your ground. If you’re facing false accusations, present such compelling evidence that the other side’s claims are clearly invalidated. This will result in either dismissal of the charges or a lesser sentence if you plead guilty to a lesser offense.
8. Don’t give up hope
If you’ve been accused of assault and fear for your future, don’t lose hope! You can fight these charges and win with the right strategies in place. Prepare yourself for your court hearing by following these tips.
It’s a serious offense to be charged with assault, and it can happen for any number of reasons. You need to take steps now so that you’re prepared when your court hearing occurs-and the best way to do this is by following the tips we’ve provided in our article. If you follow these guidelines diligently, there’s no reason why you won’t have success in fighting back against false accusations of assault charges!