If you have been charged with assault, you face a range of penalties from a fine to imprisonment, depending on how serious the offence is. Assault law can be complicated, and there are a number of different charges of assault, all with different consequences. Whatever possible penalty you are facing, an experienced assault lawyer can help ensure that you get the best outcome in your case.
If you are found guilty of a charge of assault, even if it is minor, you can be given a criminal conviction. A criminal conviction is life-long, and can impact you in the future if you want to travel, work in certain occupations, or own and use a firearm. As well as helping you get a reduced penalty, in certain cases, an assault lawyer may be able to help you avoid a criminal conviction altogether for assault charges so that you can get on with living your life as normal.
When should I speak to an assault lawyer?
Ideally, you should speak to an assault lawyer as soon as possible after you have been charged with assault. If you have been arrested, make sure you don’t give a statement or speak to police until you have consulted a lawyer, as anything you say at this time can damage your defence later on.
It is easy to feel pressured into giving information if you have been arrested, but the stress of the situation can potentially lead to you providing inaccurate information. You have the right to talk to a lawyer if you are under arrest, and it is a very good idea to do that before you speak to police.
If you have already spoken to police and have been released on bail, speak to an experienced assault lawyer as soon as possible, even if you intend to plead guilty to your charges. There are many ways a good lawyer can help in your case.
What will an assault lawyer do?
An assault lawyer can help you in a number of ways. If you are facing assault charges and want to plead guilty an assault lawyer can:
- Review the evidence against you and make sure the charges are accurate.
- Where applicable, request a section 10 dismissal or conditional release order on your behalf, which means that you are guilty but do not get a criminal conviction
- Speak to the magistrate for you and request a lenient sentence.
- Help you obtain character references or any other documentation that can present you in a positive light to the court.
- Explain any mitigating circumstances that might have contributed to the offence.
If you decide to plead not guilty, an assault lawyer will:
- Help you decide the best defence.
- Evaluate the prosecution’s case and point out any weaknesses or gaps.
- Help you prepare your defence, including gathering documentation or any other evidence to support your case.
- Argue your case in court on your behalf.
Whatever you decide to plead for your assault charge, having an experienced assault lawyer on your side can be extremely beneficial, even if the charge is minor. An assault lawyer may be able to help you successfully defend yourself against an assault charge, get you a reduced penalty or even have the charges against you withdrawn altogether.