Salem Assault Lawyer

Salem has very strict assault laws. Anyone accused of being involved in an assault should immediately consult with an experienced defense lawyer. Being convicted of assault can seriously impact a person’s criminal record, but a skilled Salem assault attorney could seek to have the charges reduced or dismissed. Contact an attorney today.

Simple Assault Charges

There are a few distinct kinds of assault charges in Salem, but they all carry serious penalties. The lowest level of assault in Salem is called simple assault, and it occurs when a person knowingly, recklessly, or negligently makes or attempts to make unwanted physical contact with another person.

One common misconception about the assault is that it must cause serious physical injury to be considered assault. If a person causes harmful contact that is not physically injurious, or if they threaten or frighten a person into believing that they are about to be harmed physically, this could still constitute an assault. Simple assault is considered a misdemeanor in Salem and is punishable by up to one year in jail and $2,000 in fines.

Assault Penalties in Salem

There are some cases in Salem where an assault charge may not be treated as severely. For example, if two people mutually agreed on a plan to fight each other and one of them is injured, this may only be considered an assault violation rather than a criminal misdemeanor. However, these kinds of violations typically carry a fine of up to $1,000, and still require the help of an experienced Salem assault defense lawyer.

In some circumstances, the alleged victim may claim they did not mutually agree to fight, and that they were simply defending themselves. Without a mutual agreement, the offense would be considered simple assault, and with that comes increased penalties.

Enhanced Assault Penalties

There are also scenarios that can trigger enhanced penalties that go beyond the sentences typically handed down for assault. Some of the circumstances that can bring about these heightened penalties include but are not limited to:

  • Domestic violence
  • Aggravated assault, or assault while committing another crime such as a burglary
  • Assault against a law-enforcement officer
  • Assault against a person of a protected class
  • Hate crimes carried out because of an alleged victim’s race or religion

Aggravated Assault

If a person is accused of assaulting someone with a deadly weapon or causing serious bodily injury during an assault, they may be charged with aggravated assault, which carries much harsher penalties than simple assault in Salem.

Certain types of crimes often by definition involve assault with a deadly weapon or assault causing serious bodily injury—for instance, burglary, robbery, sexual assault, or domestic violence. Therefore, these types of offenses generally encompass aggravated assault as well. Aggravated assault is a felony carrying hefty fines and jail sentences of often seven years or more in prison.

Contact a Salem Assault Attorney Today

No matter the circumstances that led to your being charged with an assault crime, a skilled Salem assault defense attorney could work to have the charges against you reduced to a lesser offense or dismissed altogether. Call now to set up a consultation.