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Aggressive Defense Against Assault Charges
Even a misdemeanor fifth-degree assault or fifth-degree domestic assault can have serious consequences. It requires that a defendant acted with the intent to harm somebody or that he or she put a victim in reasonable apprehension of physical harm. A fifth-degree assault may be a misdemeanor or even a gross misdemeanor if it is a second offense if for example, there was a prior conviction involving the same victim.
A fifth-degree assault charged as a misdemeanor is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. If it is charged as a gross misdemeanor, it is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $3000 fine.
The person charged may also be held until he or she appears before a judge. If it is a weekend or holiday, a defendant may have to remain in jail until after the weekend or holiday. However, a lawyer can make a request to an on-call judge who may be willing to set bail so the defendant can seek release before a court date.
The consequences from an assault conviction are severe. The criminal penalties themselves may be less harsh than the collateral consequences. Therefore you want to be sure to protect your record. Accordingly, an aggressive defense is often necessary. Some of the collateral consequences of an assault conviction include the following:
1) Employment — If convicted of an assault at any level, employers who require a background check will be less likely to hire such individuals. For example, jobs that require face-to-face contact with customers or in service industries.
2) Housing — A conviction can affect your ability to find suitable housing. Landlords usually perform background checks on potential tenants and will deny those with assault convictions on their record.
3) Hunting — For those of you who hunt, an assault conviction would cost you your right to possess a firearm and prevent you from being able to hunt again in the future.
4) Military — An assault conviction may hinder your ability to join the military.
5) Education — An assault conviction can cause licensing problems for certain occupations or interfere with acceptance at some educational institutions, especially professional schools or graduate schools.
6) Immigration — Consequences for individuals here on temporary work visas or any other type of immigrant or nonimmigrant visas may suffer deportation, and it can also be an extra hurdle to acquiring permanent residence or citizenship.