Do I Need a Des Moines Assault Lawyer?
When someone is charged with assault, they risk developing a criminal record, spending time behind bars, and more, which is why all those who’ve been charged with assault should hire a Des Moines criminal defense lawyer they can trust.
Misdemeanor Assault in Iowa
In most cases, when someone faces assault charges in Iowa, he or she is looking at a misdemeanor. However, misdemeanor crimes are still very serious and may warrant incarceration, among other penalties. The three degrees of misdemeanor assault charges (as well as their definitions and potential punishments) are as follows:
- Simple Misdemeanor Assault: If you are charged with simple misdemeanor assault, it means that the circumstances surrounding your assault do not fall into the other two assault categories. For a simple misdemeanor assault charge, you may face up to 30 days in jail and a potential $105-$855 fine.
- Serious Misdemeanor Assault: A serious misdemeanor assault charge is when an individual commits an act of assault that results in serious physical injury or mental illness, or when an assault is committed against a protected employee or is classified as a hate crime. For a serious misdemeanor assault charge, you may spend up to one year in jail and face a potential $430-$2,560 fine.
- Aggravated Misdemeanor Assault: You may be charged with aggravated misdemeanor assault if you either intended to cause serious injury to another but did not; committed an act of assault against a protected employee (such as a law enforcement officer or healthcare worker); or your assault is considered a hate crime and causes physical injuries or mental illness in the victim. Exhibiting a deadly weapon in the course of committing assault may also be considered aggravated misdemeanor assault (as long as it can be proven that you did not use, or intend to use, the weapon). Aggravated misdemeanor assault charges can warrant up to two years of incarceration and a potential $855-$8,540 fine.
Defenses Against Assault Charges
Fortunately, if you’ve been charged with assault, there are a variety of defenses available. While the defense we use will primarily depend on the circumstances of the alleged assault, some of the most common defenses are as follows:
- That you were only acting in self-defense against another person who was trying to harm you.
- That you were defending another person who was being assaulted.
- That you were defending your property from a threat.
Contact a Des Moines Assault Lawyer
Those who’ve been charged with assault have a lot on the line, and our firm is ready to do everything in our power to defend you from such charges. Contact Herting Law, PLLC today to schedule your initial consultation with our firm.