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Coxwell & Associates Affray Or Simple Assault

Affray or Simple Assault

Getting Arrested in Mississippi: Simple Assault or Disorderly Conduct

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged in Mississippi for simple assault or disorderly conduct, you may have a few questions, starting with, what exactly is simple assault or disorderly conduct? Typically, simple assault arrests are made after fights or quarrels between at least two people or where one person threatens another with “physical menace.” Disorderly conduct could result from a fight, or where public peace or order has been disturbed, as well as disobeying the command of a law enforcement officer. It’s not uncommon when you have an arrest for the officer to “load” on multiple charges, such as simple assault, public drunk, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, disturbing the peace. This is frequently done so the officer will have more chance of one of the charges sticking and so the prosecutor will have an opportunity to plea bargain with the numerous charges. If you get charged with one or more of these charges for assault, battery or disorderly conduct during an affray, you should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. A simple assault on a family member or live-in, or a domestic assault charge, even if you only get a fine and probation, revokes your right to ever own or possession a gun or ammunition. That means if you are a hunter, no more hunting!

What Is Affray or Simple Assault?

Affray, as a legal definition, pertains to fighting between two or more people in a public location. The fight could have occurred in the street, at a local establishment or in any type of community setting. Basically, it’s a fight that happens in a public place. Additionally, the quarrel has to scare other people in the community. It’s different from a riot because, it is not a premeditated occasion to get together and engage in disorder. It is typically just a scary fight that breaks out in a public or community location. Mississippi no longer uses the term affray. The State Legislature has passed a law defining simple assault and you can be guilty of simple assault if you: a.) Attempt to cause or purposely, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to another b). Negligently cause bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon or other means likely to produce death or serious bodily injury, or c.) Attempt by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily harm.

It is important to look closely at this statute because a person can be guilty of simple assault if they act recklessly and cause bodily harm, even when they did not intend to specifically harm anyone. A person could be guilty of simple assault if they act negligently and used a deadly weapon or other dangerous means likely to produce death or serious injury. So negligently driving a car could lead to a simple assault charge because a car is certainly a “means likely to produce serious bodily harm.” And lastly, threatening someone can lead to a simple assault charge. This is what gets a lot of men in trouble. Making a serious, credible threat, for example on the sports field or in a bar can lead to a simple assault charge if the other person feels in fear of imminent serious bodily harm. Mississippi Code Annotated, Section 97-3-7. (Supp. 2014). The punishment for simple assault is up to six (6) months in jail and a $500.00 fine.

One last thing to note about simple assault. If you commit simple assault on a law enforcement officer or other state official, the crime is a felony and you can be subject to up to 5 years in the Mississippi State Penitentiary and a $1,000.00 dollar fine. So, if you tell a police officer that you are going to physically harm him, and he feels he is in imminent fear of serious injury, you could be in big trouble. In addition to the felony simple assault on a law enforcement officer, you might also be charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. It is possible for a prosecutor to treat a simple assault on a law enforcement officer, which is a felony, as a misdemeanor, but it will almost always require the agreement of the officer.

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