Pressing Charges After An Assault: An Essential Guide
If you’ve been the victim of an assault, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the offender. Pressing charges against them can ensure you get fair compensation and that they will be held accountable for their actions. Assault is a federal criminal offense in the United States.
It might seem intimidating to begin a legal process, especially if you fear for your safety or that you may face retaliation. However, you can follow a standard procedure and learn more about it to understand better how to approach your case and what to expect.
You can begin by reading this essential guide for pressing charges after an assault.
What Is An Assault Charge?
Pressing charges means filing an assault case against an offender who has assaulted you. This is the first step in the process of pursuing an assault charge. Thus, your role is to report the assault, and it’s ultimately up to the prosecutor to decide whether or not to charge the offender.
This may leave you wondering, “is it worth pressing charges for assault?.” The best way to seek justice through the law is to do so; therefore, the answer is yes. A criminal case can result in the offender doing jail time, paying a penalty fee, or undergoing court-ordered rehabilitation or probation.
In a civil case, for instance, monetary compensation is sought from the offender to cover medical expenses for assault injuries, loss of wages, and emotional trauma.
What Are The Types Of Assault?
Assault is a criminal offense classified into various categories to determine the punishment that goes with it in each state. Whether the charges you file against an offender will be dropped depends on the distinctions between what constitutes assault and how the exceptions of self defense laws in NC will be applied.
As a general definition, assault is any act or threat of physical violence committed against another person with the intention of harm. Here are some of its most common types:
- Simple assault: This is an attempted assault or threat. The offender intends to carry out threats of physical harm, and the victim has a reasonable case to fear for their safety.
- Aggravated assault: This is when an offender has inflicted physical violence on a victim by hand or with a weapon and has caused them serious injuries that need medical attention.
- Sexual assault: The offender has committed a physical and non-consensual sexual act against a victim. It also applies to individuals unable to consent to sexual contact.
- Domestic violence: An offender has caused harm to their spouse, intimate partner, or family member through physical force and attack.
- Assault with intent to kill: An assault charge where the offender has inflicted physical violence onto a victim with the intent to kill. This assault charge can be coupled with an attempted murder charge.
The assault conviction can either be a misdemeanor or a felony charge, depending on the above case conditions. For instance, if weapons are used and if the victim is disabled or a minor, the penalties are at their most severe.
How To File An Assault Case
To begin pressing charges, you need to visit or call your local police station to inform them that you want to press assault charges against an offender. The police will then give you a form to fill out or interview you; this is a report where you provide information and the details of the assault.
Questions include your name as the victim and the offender’s name, address if you know it and how and when the events of the assault occurred, and any witness statements. From here, the law enforcement officers and a prosecutor will review and investigate your case.
While waiting for your review, you should consult a lawyer with experience in personal injury cases, as they can help you navigate and understand legal matters and possible court proceedings.
The Assault Prosecution Process
Once law enforcement has handed your case to a prosecutor, they will examine the evidence and strength of the case and decide whether to move forward and charge the offender with assault.
Therefore, it’s essential to include as much evidence and witnesses as possible. You can submit pictures of your injuries and corroborating statements that support your version of events if you’re in the right emotional state to present them.
Suppose the prosecutor believes there’s sufficient evidence to support a conviction. In that case, they will issue an arrest warrant to detain the offender until they post bail or appear in court to plea. The results of this trial will determine if the offender will be charged with criminal assault and given the due penalties.
You can press charges against an offender by reporting it to your local police. The law enforcement officers will take your statement, witnesses, and details of what happened to a persecutor’s office for investigation.
Then if your case is pursued, your offender could be charged with a specific type of assault. Since assault is a criminal offense, the offender could face jail time or pay you compensation if convicted, among other punishments as stated by the law.