The crime of ASSAULT is a Class A misdemeanor and is committed when someone intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes, without justification, bodily injury to another person. Bodily injury is defined as pain, illness or any physical impairment. The crime is punishable by imprisonment for up to 1 year in jail and / or a fine of up to $4,000. Assault is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine only of up to $500 if the physical contact was simply offensive to the other person.
A person acts intentionally, or with intent, with respect to the nature of his conduct or to a result of his conduct when it is his conscious objective or desire to engage in the conduct or cause the result. A person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to the nature of his conduct or to circumstances surrounding his conduct when he is aware of the nature of his conduct or that the circumstances exist. A person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to a result of his conduct when he is aware that his conduct is reasonably certain to cause the result.
The crime of AGGRAVATED ASSAULT is a second-degree felony and is committed if the assaultive conduct is committed without justification and causes serious bodily injury, or if someone uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during an assault. The crime is punishable by imprisonment from 2 to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Serious bodily injury is defined as bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ. The crime is a first-degree felony if the actor uses a deadly weapon and causes serious bodily injury to certain family members, on-duty public servants and security officers, witnesses / informants / crime reportees, or if the actor is in a motor vehicle, recklessly shoots at occupied buildings or other motor vehicles and causes serious bodily injury to any person.
The crime of INTOXICATION ASSAULT can be a second- or third-degree felony and is committed if a person operates a motor vehicle, boat or aircraft while intoxicated, and by reason of that impairment and by accident or mistake causes serious bodily injury to another person. Intoxication is defined as the loss of normal use of mental or physical faculties, or by having a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or greater at the time of driving. The crime is a third-degree felony punishable by imprisonment from 2 to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000, and becomes a second-degree felony and the punishment range increased to 20 years if the person injured is in a vegetative state or is an on-duty peace officer, fireman or emergency medical technician.
Assault and aggravated assault are justified and legally excused if a court or jury finds that the actor was acting in self-defense or out of a legal necessity.
GENERALLY, a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force. There are special rules that apply to the use of deadly force.
GENERALLY, conduct is justified if the actor reasonably believes the conduct is immediately necessary to avoid imminent harm, the desirability and urgency of avoiding the harm clearly outweigh, according to ordinary standards of reasonableness, the harm sought to be prevented by the law prohibiting the conduct; AND a legislative purpose to exclude the justification claimed for the conduct does not otherwise plainly appear.
IMPORTANT NOTE: there are many rules and exceptions that apply to the justification of self-defense and necessity, and only a competent, knowledgeable attorney will be able to evaluate the evidence to properly advise the accused on options for their application.
Whenever a court makes an evidentiary finding that a DEADLY WEAPON was used during the course and commission of these offenses, and the person was sentenced to imprisonment, then the person convicted of the offenses must serve at least one-half calendar time in imprisonment.