When you are in serious trouble with the law and facing a possible prison term, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney to be your legal representative in court. All criminal cases are not the same, and your case being unique, the criminal defense attorney will decide on the points to use to argue your case and try to reduce or dismiss the assault charges against you.
Here are some reasons why you need to contact a criminal defense attorney for assault charges:
What is meant by Assault Charges?
A crime of assault or aggravated assault comes under any of the following:
- Causing bodily harm or injury, or even attempting to cause it, by a callous attitude showing scant regard for human life
- To cause severe bodily injury, with the sole intent to do so
- Wantonly using a dangerous weapon to cause bodily injury
- Threatening a person with physical harm and putting the fear of death in them showing a dangerous weapon.
- Trying to strangle or suffocate a person with an intent to put a fear of death in the person
Severe bodily injury is a serious injury that puts a sense of fear in a person, making them fear for their lives or health. Inflicting knife wounds to the chest or any injuries that require medical attention is considered severe bodily injury under the law.
While assault is considered an attempt to inflict injury or the fear of injury in a person, the battery is the act of inflicting the injury.
Aggravated Battery of Infants
Under South Dakota law, any person who intentionally or recklessly causes severe bodily injuries to an infant under three years of age is considered a class 2 felony. If there is any such violation a second time under the same section, it is regarded as a Class 1 felony. Even violently shaking an infant or hitting and causing bleeding, swelling, or damage to the infant’s brain is considered aggravated battery under the law.
Aggravated Battery of an Unborn Baby
Any assault with an intention of causing bodily injury to a pregnant woman is considered aggravated battery of an unborn baby. So is it if the assault on a pregnant woman causes any injury to the unborn baby born alive after the assault.
Help Reduce the Sentencing through Plea Bargains
Suppose there is a clear-cut case or known in legal parlance as an open and shut case. The only way out for you is to allow your criminal defense attorney to negotiate a plea bargain or make a deal with the authorities (the DA) and try to reduce the sentencing or eliminate most of the charges against you. An aggravated assault or an aggravated battery in South Dakota is a serious felony.
Even if you have a track record of having committed a simple assault on prior occasions, with a conviction, you are liable to be punished with a one-year jail term and a fine of up to $2,000. The defense attorney will advise on the best line of argument to ensure you get a lighter sentence or even escape with a warning in some cases. Pleading guilty, in some cases, helps lower the sentence period.
Emotional Help from your Criminal Defense Attorney
You may have committed a felony in the spur of the moment or due to a confused state of mind. However, you need emotional support at a trying time like this. When you contact a criminal defense attorney, they will help you understand your act’s severity and what you can expect to happen during the trial. An experienced attorney would have handled several such cases and will brief you on the court procedures and the rules and regulations you need to follow in court. Your lawyer will investigate the matter, gather the necessary evidence to present your case, and try to get you a reduced sentence with the testimony collected.
Summing it Up
Assault and battery charges attract a prison sentence or a fine along with time to serve. Only an experienced criminal defense attorney knows how to help get a reduced sentence or have all charges dropped due to lack of evidence.