Some assault charges require an intent, the intent to either cause physical injury, cause serious physical injury, or no intent at all. Depending on the totality of the circumstances, looking at the injury caused to the person, in some assault charges reckless is enough to be accused of the assault. The simple assault, as we referred to originally, reckless is good enough, it does not require intent. However, if you go into the more serious charge, for instance, the assault in the first degree, those are intent crimes. If you are reckless, that will not make it enough, there must be an intent to commit the serious physical injury or an intent to disfigure another person or just acting in such a way that’s depraved and indifferent towards human life. The intent needs to be there.
Whereas for assault in the second degree and some of the aggravated assaults, it’s good enough if you’re just acting recklessly, you can still have that charge. That would be the determination in the charges and we face those on a daily routine of clients who have been accused of assault in the various degrees. It is for me to look at with my knowledge and my experience and my expertise in this field; at the circumstances and make applications to the court and if necessary, fight it all the way to the end through trial to show that the charge that this person’s being accused of was not the proper charge, or they could not prove the charge.
That is really super important again by having a criminal attorney who knows what’s happening; has the ability to look at the entire case and not be concerned that there’s no defense because the person is accused of such a crime and there is an injury and a victim. As opposed to that, somebody with experience can look through it and say, “They can’t prove this, this is not what happens in this kind of case.” Even though there may be an injury committed, if the charge is the wrong charge and by technical reasons, either on papers or through a trial or anything in-between, we’re very successful in defending those cases and getting the person an outcome that has been reliable and what the client really is looking for.
Common Mistakes Committed By People During Investigation Or Arrest
During the investigation phase, we’re going to assume that this is from the defense side not the prosecution side because as a former prosecutor, I know a lot of the mistakes that prosecutors make, I know a lot of mistakes that the police make and the detectives. One of the mistakes that people make on the defense side is not having a lawyer who knows the mistakes that the prosecutors make. That’s the first one. But I find in every criminal case, sometimes it is just the inability of a client to be quiet, not talk. Clients should immediately, whether they’re arrested or they learn that they are the target of an assault investigation, contact a criminal defense attorney who has knowledge and expertise in the field of assault.
Instead, some potential subjects or targets of investigations will talk to the police and what will happen is that during the police investigation, and before they come to us and they’re not a client yet but the future client will talk to the police and fill in a lot of the question marks and some of the blanks actually in trying to talk their way out of it and convince the police that they’re not involved in this activity, they actually put themselves right in the middle of it, answer the questions for the cops, giving the police officers enough to arrest our clients. That is the biggest problem that I come across during the investigation phase is clients talking to other people and talking to the police.
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