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Louisiana criminal defense: Charged with assault?

Louisiana residents who have been charged with assault will find themselves facing significant consequences if they are ultimately convicted. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help such individuals navigate the criminal court system and fight for the best possible case outcomes. This week, this column will go over what is needed for prosecuting attorneys to achieve a conviction on an assault charge and what a defense attorney can do to help those accused of committing an assault.

Let's start with the basics. An assault is defined as threatening bodily harm to another individual in a manner that makes that individual fear for his or her safety. Many assault cases also include battery charges, which means physical harm to the victim allegedly occurred. In order for prosecuting attorneys to achieve a conviction on an assault charge, two elements must exist in the case, these are:

  • The accused intended to cause fear of harm.
  • The victim believed he or she would be physically harmed.

In order to fight an assault charge, it is necessary to examine in detail the event in which the accused was involved. Words without actions do not constitute an assault; whereas, certain actions without words do. So, it comes down to the accused's intent, his or her body language and, if applicable, his or her use or display of a weapon. Backstory also matters. What led up to the event?

By carefully reviewing the evidence in the case and listening to the client's side of things, a criminal defense attorney can come up with a plan of action. Fighting an assault charge in a Louisiana criminal court may not prove to be an easy task. However, there are a number of defense strategies that may work in one's case to help bring about a case dismissal or at least a reduction charges and penalties.

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