Depending on the circumstances of your individual arrest, a simple assault charge can quickly become upgraded to an aggravated assault charge. Whether you accidentally hurt somebody while doing something reckless or intentionally injured another person, you need to speak with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest.Simple Assault
Simple assaults in Mississippi typically involve relatively minor incidents and injuries. Simple assaults might happen as a result of negligence or recklessness, even if the accused didn’t intend to hurt anybody. Cuts, scrapes and bruises are what you would expect from a simple assault. If more serious injuries are inflicted, like broken bones, you could be facing an aggravated assault charge.Criteria for Assault under Mississippi Law
- Did you attempt to physically injure another person?
- Did you intentionally or recklessly cause physical harm to somebody?
- Did you negligently cause bodily injury to someone with a deadly weapon, or
- Did you threaten somebody, causing that person to feel afraid that he or she is about to suffer serious physical injury?
Aggravated assault is a felony in Mississippi. This is the charge used when somebody has suffered from fairly extensive injuries. In some cases, a simple assault can be upgraded to an aggravated assault depending upon the type of victim involved. Injuring a certain type of victim, no matter how minor, can mean prison time and hefty fines. There are also a variety of special circumstances for aggravated assault charges. For example, if you fail to stop for a school bus and injure a child, you could be facing felony aggravated assault charges in Mississippi.Criteria for Aggravated Assault in Mississippi
- Did you attempt to cause serious bodily injury to someone?
- Did you intentionally or recklessly cause serious bodily injury to another person while acting with extreme indifference to human life?
- Did you attempt or cause bodily injury to somebody with a deadly weapon or by other means likely to cause serious bodily injury or death?
- Did you fail to stop for a school bus and injure a child who was in the process of getting on or off a school bus?
Certain types of victims in Mississippi can raise your simple assault charge from a misdemeanor to a felony. If your simple assault is upgraded to a felony due to the type of victim involved, you could be facing up to five years in prison and a $1,000 fine. A few examples of these “special” victims are listed below.Special Victims in Mississippi
- Emergency services provider
- Law enforcement, corrections or fire department officials
- Public school teachers and administrators
- Judges and other court employees
- Legislators and certain elected officials
- Anybody over the age of 64 and an incapacitated or disabled adult
- Social workers and family protection workers
Each case is different, and the circumstances of your assault charge could mean that intent was irrelevant. For example, if you injured somebody by accident, through reckless or negligent behavior, you could still be charged with assault. You don’t actually have to mean to hurt anybody, if your behaviors were negligent or reckless. There can also be a lot of gray area involving assault charges without intent, so it’s a good idea to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest.Assault and Battery in Jackson
Although you hear about “assault and battery” all the time, you could be slapped with just an assault charge. In some states, these are still two very different legal concepts, where assault is seen as more of a threat or prelude to battery, and battery is the actual injuring of another person. In Mississippi, you can be charged with simple or aggravated assault without getting a battery charge.Restitution, Sentences and Remand
If you have been convicted of simple or aggravated assault in Mississippi, you could be facing a variety of penalties and punishments. Whether you’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony will determine if and how much jail time you receive. A conviction for misdemeanor simple assault can give you six months in jail and a $500.00 fine; a conviction for simple assault against a “special victim” is a felony and can give you a fine up to $1,000.00 and up to five years in jail. A conviction for felony aggravated assault will give you a jail sentence of at least one year and up to twenty years. If convicted of aggravated assault against a “special victim,” you may be imprisoned for up to thirty years and fined up to $5,000.00 You may also have to pay restitution to your victim to help cover his or her medical bills, and in some misdemeanor cases, you might be remanded rather than sent to jail. This can include certain classes, courses and probationary programs.When to Call Assault Lawyer in Jackson
If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with assault in Jackson or the surrounding area, you need to talk to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Contact the experienced defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a consultation today.