An arrest for assault or battery in Idaho requires a reliable defense to avoid a criminal record. People guilty of these crimes could receive fines, jail time, or both. After an arrest, the accused must understand the charges and the possible penalties. Assault and battery are misdemeanor crimes, but aggravated assault and battery are felonies. A criminal record can affect people when they apply for a job or attempt to enroll in a university.
Understand the charges
It is not uncommon to hear people use assault and battery interchangeably, but there are differences. Assault is an intentional act meant to cause harm. Aggravated assault is a more serious form of this action and usually involves a weapon or causes severe injury to the victim. Battery is also an intentional act committed without consent. It is not always meant to harm the victim but may result in injury. Aggravated battery occurs when the victim receives severe injuries or if the victim is pregnant and the incident harms the fetus.
Know the punishment
Penalties for assault charges can include a three-month jail sentence and up to a $1,000 fine. People convicted of battery can receive a $1,000 fine and could spend six months to one year in jail. An aggravated assault conviction has a maximum of five years of incarceration and a $5,000 fine. Aggravated battery can result in a sentence of 15 years.
Defend the action
Criminal defense methods help people protect themselves after being unfairly accused of a crime. Someone who strikes or touches someone else is not always the aggressor. A reported assault may have been from self-defense. The accused could also have been medically unaware of their actions. Examples of unawareness could mean a mental disorder, striking someone while having a seizure, or if the defendant unwittingly consumed a mind-altering drug beforehand.
The criminal justice system allows people to have the right to defend themselves in court. Anyone charged with an assault or battery should tell their side of the story. An innocent person accepting guilt because they think it will save time or money could penalize themselves for life with an unnecessary criminal record.