Understanding Assault Charges and Penalties
January 11th, 2023
Criminal assault occurs when a person unlawfully causes or attempts to cause bodily injury to another person. Criminal battery, which is often charged together with assault, is also a misdemeanor and occurs when a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person. The more serious crime of aggravated assault and battery is a felony. It occurs when a person intentionally or recklessly attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another person, often while using a weapon.
Assault charges are some of the most commonly misunderstood crimes in America. When people think of assault, they often think of a brutal beating. But according to the legal definition, assault actually occurs when a person attempts to injure someone else. The crime of actually causing injury to another person is called a battery. While the two are technically distinct crimes, they are often charged together.
Assault, battery, and aggravated assault and battery are distinguished by the severity of the harm that was caused and a person’s intent. To have criminal intent, a person must act with the resolve to commit a crime or behave in a way that is likely to cause injury.
Penalties for Assault and Battery
The potential penalties for an assault and battery conviction will vary depending on the circumstances of your case.
- Assault is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $750.
- Battery is also a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 6 months in jail, a fine of up to $750, or both.
- Aggravated assault and battery is a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
If you have prior convictions, the penalties will be more severe. For example, if you are charged with assault and have prior assault convictions, you can face up to six months in jail and up to one year of probation. Similarly, for a second battery conviction, you could face a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in prison, and up to two years of probation.
Domestic Assault and Battery
If you commit assault, battery, or aggravated assault and battery against someone who is a member of your household, you face additional penalties.
Under Wyoming law, a household member includes people who
- Are married to each other
- Are living together as if they were married
- Were formerly married to each other
- Formerly lived together as if they were married
- Share common living quarters
- Are the parents of a child together but are not living with each other
- Are in or have been in a dating relationship
A household member also includes parents and their adult children.
Domestic assault is punishable by a fine of up to $750. If a person has previously been convicted of domestic assault, they face a fine of up to $750 plus up to six months in prison.
Domestic battery is punishable by up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $750. A person convicted of domestic battery within the previous five years faces up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
Just Criminal Law: Protecting Your One Shot at Justice
If you are facing criminal charges for assault and battery, you need a team of skilled and experienced criminal defense professionals on your side. To defend against charges of assault and battery, our team will focus on whether the alleged threat of violence was credible, whether the defendant intended to cause harm and had the apparent ability to do so, whether the defendant was provoked, and whether the defendant was acting in defense of themselves or others. In addition, we will evaluate cases of mistaken identity and whether police committed misconduct during the investigation and arrest.
Our criminal defense team is led by founding attorney Christina L. Williams. She is assisted by former prosecutor Josh Taylor and lead investigator Tony Seeman, who spent more than 20 years working for the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office before joining our team. Together, we will work to thoroughly investigate the charges against you, defend your rights, and protect your one shot at justice.
We invite you to contact us today to schedule your personalized case review and strategy session to discuss your situation and how we can help.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is offered for educational purposes only. This information is not offered as legal advice. A person accused of a crime should always consult with an attorney before making decisions that have legal consequences.
Categories: Assault & Battery