You should not let the designation fool you. When it comes to a simple assault, the second word is much more powerful than the first. A simple assault is the most common form of an assault and battery charge and the charges can stem from punching, pushing, grabbing, slapping, spitting, scratching or hair pulling.

If you are facing a simple assault charge, you can expect to pay expensive fines and can face up to five years in prison. You do not even have to touch another person to be charged with a simple assault, a charge can stem from bullying or menacing someone. Imposing such fear on a person who may feel for their safety or life is enough to warrant a charge.

What you should know about simple assault

  • A simple assault is classified as a misdemeanor and it is in place to protect people from an attack.
  • A charge for simple assault can come from an intentional or even reckless action that causes bodily injury to another person. Many times, the most common simple assault is not being able to control yourself during an argument and punching the other person.
  • You may be charged with simple assault if you try to aggressively attack someone but fail to injure them. It is the action that you will be charged for, the fact there was no injury will not be a factor. This can happen if you grabbed a knife and lunged at someone with the intent to stab them. Even if they jump out of the way and you missed, you may be charged with simple assault.
  • A simple assault usually happens when you quickly become angry. You can be charged for causing injury while struggling to resist arrest or as a pregnant woman causing harm to an unborn baby if your actions from anger caused the injury. 

What to do if you are charged with simple assault

No matter how insignificant you believe the incident was that brought on the charge, even just a few moments of “flying off the handle” can land you in jail and give you an assault charge on your record that could follow you for a long time. You should consult with an attorney right away, so you can get expert counsel on the circumstances of what happened and how you may defend your case.

While discussing the details of the incident, it may become clear that your actions were more reckless than intentional. If you were just using self-defense, proving this fact can get the charges dropped. You may find out that your alleged victim has animosity towards you and is using a benign incident to get you in trouble.

If you are in an altercation that results in a simple assault charge, you should take the charges seriously and begin the work on your defense as soon as possible.