Punching, kicking, or throwing something at someone that results in an injury may be considered criminal assault in Alabama. Assault involves causing physical injury to another person, even if the injury is only a minor scrape or bruise or pain. The penalties for assault depend on the seriousness of the injury, whether a weapon was used, and the assault victim.
Under the Alabama criminal code, assault charges include:
- First-degree assault
- Second-degree assault
- Third-degree assault
Assault in the First Degree
Under Alabama Code Section 13A-6-20, assault in the first degree involves:
- Intentionally causing serious injury to another person by use of a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon;
- Intentionally disfiguring another person seriously and permanently, or destroying, amputating, disabling permanently a member or organ of another person's body;
- Recklessly engage in conduct that creates a grave risk of death to another person and that causes serious physical injury, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life;
- Causing serious physical injury to another in the commission of certain crimes such as arson 1st, burglary 1st or second, and any other felony clearly dangerous to human life; or
- Causing serious physical injury to a person while driving under the influence of alcohol, or a controlled substance, or any combination thereof.
First-degree assault is a Class B felony. The penalties for a conviction of a Class B felony in Alabama include from 2 years to 20 years in prison. If a deadly weapon was used during the crime, the minimum sentence is 10 years in prison.
Assault in the Second Degree
Under Alabama Code Section 13A-6-21, second-degree assault involves:
- Intentionally causing serious physical injury to any person;
- Intentionally causing injury by use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument; or
- Recklessly causing serious physical injury by use of a deadly weapon.
Assaulting public servants or other specified workers acting in the course of their employment can also result in second-degree assault charges. These workers include:
- Public school employees
- Health care workers
- Hospital employees
- Health department workers
- Police officers
- Emergency personnel
- Utility workers
Intentionally drugging or getting another person drunk may also be considered second-degree assault, if one intentionally causes unconsciousness, physical or mental impairment, or stupor by administering a drug or other substance without the other person's consent.
Second-degree assault is a Class C felony. The penalties for a conviction of a Class C felony in Alabama include a minimum of 1 year and 1 day in prison, up to a maximum of 10 years. If a deadly weapon was used during the crime, the minimum sentence is 10 years in prison.
Assault in the Third Degree
Assault in the Third Degree, which is found in Alabama Code Section 13A-6-22 is a Class A misdemeanor. One can commit third-degree assault in four ways:
- Intentionally causing physical injury to another person;
- Recklessly causing physical injury to another person;
- With criminal negligence, one causes physical injury with a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon; or
- Causing physical injury to any person while intending to stop a peace officer from performing a lawful duty.
The penalties for Assault 3rd include up to one year in the county jail and a fine of up to $6,000.
Experienced Madison County Alabama Criminal Defense Attorney
John Allen knows the risks and penalties involved with an assault conviction. Even a misdemeanor assault conviction could leave you with a criminal record that could affect your future and your ability to provide for your family. Attorney John Allen will vigorously defend you from any assault charge. An arrest does not mean you have to be convicted. An experienced criminal defense attorney like John Allen knows how to challenge the state's evidence at trial and to seek an acquittal. He also frequently negotiates with prosecutors to get his clients into diversion programs and alternative courts where they can get their charges dismissed without the risk of trial. Contact Huntsville defense lawyer John Allen today.