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When a person’s temper escalates into physical violence against another, that person may be charged with criminal assault. Under the Alabama Criminal Code, someone can be charged with assault in several different manners.

If your temper rises to the point of committing an assault, a Mountain Brook assault lawyer can help craft a defense in your favor. Qualified defense attorneys can fight aggressively to protect those charged with assault and their rights.

Assault Charges Under Alabama Law

There are three main categories of assault crimes under Alabama law.

First-Degree Assault

First-degree assault is categorized as a Class B felony. In these cases, the perpetrator intentionally causes physical injury to another by using a deadly weapon.

One can be charged with first-degree criminal assault if they willfully disfigure or permanently disable the body of another person, if they participate in activities that create a risk of death, or if they drive under the influence of alcohol and it results in serious injury to another person. Someone convicted of first-degree assault could face up to 20 years of jail or prison time.

Second-Degree Assault

Second-degree assault is a Class C felony. Second-degree criminal assault can be charged when someone’s reckless behavior with a deadly weapon or instrument causes injury to another.

For example, a person can be charged with second-degree criminal assault if they prevent an emergency medical professional, police officer, or firefighter from performing their work, which in turn causes injury. Or, a person can be charged if they intentionally give drugs or controlled substances to another person without their consent, resulting in harm to the victim. Those convicted of second-degree assault could face up to 10 years in jail or prison.

Third-Degree Criminal Assault

Third-degree assault is considered a Class A Misdemeanor. One can be charged with third-degree criminal assault if they recklessly cause physical harm or injury to another person using a dangerous weapon, or if they prevent a sheriff or police officer from performing a lawful duty, causing injury. If convicted of third-degree assault, a person could be penalized with up to 180 days in a city jail or up to one year in a county jail. A qualified Mountain Brook assault lawyer can attempt to mitigate the charges that an individual may face.

Proving a Criminal Assault Occurred

Proving an assault occurred may not be easy. To convict for criminal assault, the prosecution must prove that certain elements occurred, including:

  • The defendant created fear in the alleged victim
  • The defendant’s actions were intended to cause harm or injury
  • The alleged victim had a reasonable belief they would be hurt by the defendant
  • The alleged victim felt imminent fear due to the actions of the defendant

Failure to prove these elements happened will damage the prosecution’s case against a defendant. A skilled Mountain Brook assault attorney can create a strong defense to combat the prosecution’s theory of guilt.

A Mountain Brook assault lawyer can attempt to establish a defense that illustrates the defendant did not intend to hurt the accuser, and their actions could have resulted from self-defense, mental duress, or other causes beyond their control.

Contacting a Mountain Brook Assault Attorney

A criminal assault arrest or conviction in Mountain Brook can affect your life in many negative ways. A conviction can make it difficult for someone to apply for jobs, or live in certain areas. Those convicted of assault lose voting rights, pay hefty fines, and often spend time in jail or prison. Moreover, carrying the stigma of being convicted of an assault crime can be difficult to bear. A Mountain Brook assault lawyer can help. Your attorney can work with dedication and commitment to you to either lessen the charges that you face.