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Understand the basics of assault charges

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2021 | Firm News

Assault charges can have a serious impact on people’s lives. People need to understand what this charge means and the penalties they might face. 

People may think that they need to physically harm another person to face assault charges. According to the Iowa Legislature, physical harm is not necessarily an element of assault. Instead, this offense centers around a person’s intent. People may face assault charges if they intentionally behave in a way that makes people fear for their safety. Someone may aim a firearm at another person, for example. Additionally, people may take an action with the intent of harming another person. In both of these situations, people do not always need to lay a hand on another person. 

Types of assault

The specific charges that people face usually depend on their unique circumstances. Some people have a protected status because of their occupation. This category includes members of law enforcement and health care providers. If someone threatens to harm one of these people, he or she may face aggravated assault charges. Harassing another person may also cause someone to face assault charges. Additionally, people may face more serious charges if they commit a felony offense when the assault takes place. 

Penalties for assault

The Iowa Legislature says that the penalty usually depends on whether people face simple, serious or aggravated misdemeanor charges. If people receive a conviction for a simple misdemeanor, they may need to pay a fine of between $105 and $855. They may also spend one month in jail. Serious misdemeanor charges may result in a jail sentence of up to one year. People may need to pay a $430 fine. This fine may range up to $2,560. If people receive a conviction for an aggravated misdemeanor, they may need to pay  a fine of at least $855. They may also spend up to two years in prison. 

In some situations, people may get an expungement to remove an assault from their record.