What Is Simple Assault?
Disagreements and arguments happen all the time. But if they become too heated or get out of control, one or more people may be charged with a crime, including simple assault.
If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, the information below will provide you with important knowledge, so you can better protect your legal interests.
Working with a criminal defense attorney is your best shot at reducing the chances that you go to jail for your simple assault charge.
What Is A Simple Assault Charge in Wyoming?
Simple assaults can occur in a variety of circumstances but often arise during a disagreement or argument. Definitions of simple assault differ from state to state.
Wyoming's law classifies assault as a misdemeanor and punishes simple assault convictions with monetary fines.
Under the statute, a simple assault occurs where a person attempts to harm another person or cause bodily injury unlawfully.
A simple assault charge does not require actual bodily injury. You can be charged just for attempting to do so.
Penalties for Simple Assault
Penalties for simple assault charges do not include any jail time. But if convicted, you will still face consequences that can have a significant impact on your life.
Legal penalties for simple assault include:
- Monetary penalties up to $750 per charge;
- A misdemeanor charge that will appear on your criminal record;
- Court dates and associated fees and costs; and
- Problems with employment, child custody disputes, and other issues associated with having a criminal record.
Understanding Different Types of Assault-Related Charges
Understanding different types of assault-related offenses can be complicated and confusing, but important to know if you face criminal charges.
Below are brief descriptions of different types of assault-related charges and their associated penalties.
Assault Versus Battery
Assault and battery come up in numerous different contexts in news, social media, and popular entertainment. Many sources describe these terms as the same offense, but they are separate crimes and have some crucial differences.
- A simple assault crime in Wyoming only requires proving that someone attempted to cause bodily injury to another person
- A crime of battery requires showing that a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused another person bodily harm through physical force.
Battery involves proving an actual injury, and a person charged with battery faces harsher legal consequences. Penalties for battery can include fines of up to $750 as well as up to six months in jail.
Wyoming law includes another type of offense that falls between a charge for assault or battery.
Unlawful contact occurs where a person intentionally touches another person in an angry, rude, or impolite way but does not cause bodily injury. A person convicted of unlawful contact faces up to six months in jail, fines up to $750, or both.
Assault on a Household Member
Wyoming's law also distinguishes between simple assault and domestic assault, or assault by one household member against another.
First-time domestic assault offenders face the same penalties as those for simple assault.
However, if a person convicted of domestic assault committed another assault-related crime or a previous domestic assault, that person may face jail time in addition to a fine.
Do I Need a Wyoming Assault Lawyer?
If you are charged with simple assault, remember that a criminal charge does not equal a conviction. A prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt each element, or part, of a criminal offense.
Experienced Wyoming assault attorneys know and understand the elements of criminal assault and will investigate the facts of your case to develop a strong defense to protect your rights.
Some defenses to simple assault include:
- Even if you did attempt to cause someone bodily injury, if you did it to protect yourself or someone else from harm, you may be able to claim self-defense;
- You could argue that you were aggressive because you were defending your property;
- You may be able to claim consent as a defense if you can prove that the other person consented, or agreed to, the attempted bodily harm; or
- Showing that you lacked the ability to cause bodily harm.
Any of the defenses above or combinations of the defenses could make up your legal strategy.
How a Criminal Defense Attorney Defends You from a Simple Assault Charge
Creating a successful legal defense can be a complicated process. Presenting a legal claim requires knowing and following extensive court procedures, rules, and methods for gathering and presenting evidence, writing court documents, and bringing a case to trial.
Skilled criminal law lawyers spend years practicing and developing these skills, so they can best serve and protect their clients’ interests.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you:
- Gather evidence, including investigations, police reports, witness testimonies, and other information necessary to build your defense
- File motions with the court
- Negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf
- Defend you and represent you if your case goes to trial
Contact a Wyoming Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you or someone you know is charged with simple assault, you may not know what to do next.
We understand this can be a stressful and challenging time, and our highly experienced Wyoming assault attorneys and staff will support you through the process.
Our criminal defense attorney Jeremy Hugus has extensive experience defending his clients’ rights against criminal defense charges. He has a proven track record of success and fights relentlessly on behalf of his clients.
Reach out to the team at Cowboy Country Criminal Defense by filling out an online form or calling 307.333.7884 today. Our qualified team will provide you with the legal advice and representation you need.