The Personal Attention You Deserve

Do you have to hurt someone to face assault charges?

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2022 | Violent Crimes

Assault is one of the most common violent crimes. While murder and kidnapping are rare, people engage in lesser acts of physical violence toward one another every day in the Maryland and Washington DC region.

Misinformation about assault leads to some people making mistakes when responding to criminal charges. For example, people frequently think that assault refers to causing significant bodily injury to someone else. They may think that they can easily defend themselves in court if the other party doesn’t have major injuries.

Unfortunately, simply proving that the other party didn’t suffer lasting injuries won’t be a sufficient defense against allegations of assault. 

Assault can occur even when you don’t touch the other person

There are several different definitions of assault. Intentionally hurting someone by striking them is obviously assault. Hurting someone with a deadly weapon or causing injury through indirect contact is also a form of assault.

Offensive physical contact that does not cause injury can also lead to assault charges. If the other party felt like your intention was to insult them when you put your hands on them, their perception of the interaction could mean that you face criminal charges. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that you don’t have to actually touch the other person at all for someone to accuse of you assaulting them.

The laws in both Washington DC and Maryland include threats of physical violence in their definitions of assault. Angry words, threatening text messages or even aggressive body language could lead to an arrest. If you create a credible fear of imminent harm in the other party through your words or actions, that could be enough for the state to charge you with assault.

How do you fight back against assault allegations?

Scenarios offer different opportunities for defense when the state alleges that you assaulted someone. Proving that you were not the one involved in the altercation by identifying the actual person or providing an alibi could work. Gathering evidence like security footage and witness testimony to show that you acted to defend yourself to be another option.

Reviewing the evidence that has led to your assault charges can be a good starting point for planning a defense against those allegations.