Keeping people from physically attacking them is one of the core reasons for criminal law existing, so it makes sense that the laws surrounding unwanted, offensive touching or threats of harm would be strict and have severe penalties. However, assault charges can stem from exaggerated or false claims, or even when the so-called victim was the aggressor and the accused was merely acting out of self-defense.
Des Moines Assault Lawyer
If you face assault charges, our skilled criminal defense attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. can fight for your rights and defend you. A Des Moines assault lawyer from McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. can expose the weaknesses in the case against you, and seek to suppress inadmissible evidence. We have more than four decades of experience representing those accused of crimes like assault, and you can rely on that experience for your defense. Call us today at (515) 279-9700 to schedule a consultation to discuss your assault charges.
We represent those facing assault charges across the Des Moines area, including in West Des Moines, Johnston, Ankeny and Urbandale, and throughout Polk County and Dallas County. We also represent people all over the state of Iowa.
Defining Assault in Iowa
Assault is defined in Iowa Code 708.1. The law establishes assault as a legally unjustifiable act that:
- Is intended to cause pain or injury, or is intended to cause physical contact that will be offensive or insulting;
- Will place the victim in fear of immediate physical contact that will be painful, offensive, insulting or injurious, as long as the suspect has the apparently ability to execute the act; or
- Involves pointing a firearm at the victim, or displaying a dangerous weapon in a threatening manner.
This covers a broad array of potential acts, and can range from a physical attack to a mere threat of physical violence. The key for a charge surrounding a threat is that the victim must have had reason to believe that the suspect could carry the threat out.
Punishment for Polk County Assault
The amount of punishment depends largely on the circumstances surrounding the alleged assault, and what prosecutors can prove about the circumstances. If prosecutors can prove that there was intent to cause pain or injury, but no such injury caused then the charge is a simple misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine from $65 to $625.
If, however, the assault actually causes an injury or a mental illness, and prosecutors can prove it, then the charge is a serious misdemeanor. A serious misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine from $315 to $1,875. It a deadly weapon was used, or the intent was to cause serious injury, then the charge is further upgraded to an aggravated misdemeanor, punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine from $625 to $6,250.
Some assault charges can be felonies. If a serious injury results, then it is a Class D felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine from $750 to $7,500. If the assault caused an object to penetrate the genitals of anus, then it is a Class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine from $1,000 to $10,000.
Any charge involving a law enforcement officer or certain other public servants will upgrade the charges. For example, what would have been a simple misdemeanor on anyone else become a serious misdemeanor if done to a police officer.
Any assault will be on your record, and will make you seem like a violent criminal. A Des Moines violent crime attorney can employ a full arsenal of defenses. In addition to pointing out the holes in the prosecution’s case and seeking to suppress inadmissible evidence, he can put forward affirmative defenses. For example, maybe you only used force in self-defense.
McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. | Polk County Assault Attorney
You don’t have to accept a criminal record showing you as a violent, aggressive person. A Des Moines assault lawyer can fight for your rights and advocate for you. At McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C., we have more than four decades of experience fighting for the rights of the accused. Contact us today at (515) 279-9700 for a free consultation.