Will I be charged with a felony assault or a simple assault?

Updated on May 12th, 2021 at 07:41 pm

You’ve been in a fight and came up on the winning side.   Now, you have whipped (aka “assaulted”) someone and while you think it’s bad, you don’t know what the police will think.

Here is what you should know.   A simple assault is generally treated as a misdemeanor, while an aggravated assault is a felony.  The one they’ll pin on you depends upon if a deadly weapon found its way into the beat down (aka “assault”) or if you really gave it to the other person (think – emergency room).

Simple Assault

Simple assault results from causing injury, causing a person to think you are going to injure him or physically contacting someone in a way she and an onlooker finds offensive.  For aggravated assault, take all of this and add serious bodily injury and/or a deadly weapon (even if you just take out a weapon and don’t actually use it).

Felony Assault

If there is no deadly weapon, the decision between a felony assault and simple assault comes down to how badly you whipped your opponent.  Say you break a guy’s nose but it can heal in a few weeks without any huge effort on his part—that’s not so bad, maybe a misdemeanor unless you broke it with the end of a rifle.  If you put somebody in intensive care and when he gets out he’s got weeks or months or years of rehabilitation ahead AND he’ll never be the same—that’s bad.  That’s felony bad.

So, now you know the difference between a felony assault and simple assault but this still may not be enough for you to know how to analyze your situation.  Maybe you fall somewhere between broken-nose bad and ICU bad.  Whatever gray you see in your situation or even if you think you’re sure, you should call an attorney.

If you are in Washington, DC or Maryland, call The Law Offices of Michael Bruckheim at (240) 753-8222.


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