The U.S. legal system can be confusing and intimidating to someone who isn’t familiar with the process, especially when the charges involve something serious, such as assault. You’ll need legal representation and perhaps a bail bond. You could face a trial, and the entire experience can be overwhelming. To help you navigate the situation, here’s everything you need to know about assault charges.
An Introduction to Assault Charges
Assault & Battery
Originally, assault and battery were separate crimes. Assault is an attack that puts the victim in fear of being harmed, while battery is the action of the assault. Battery requires the aggressor to physically strike or offensively touch the victim. In modern statutes, any physical violence is considered an assault.
Felony vs. Misdemeanor Assault
In Hawaii, statutes recognize both misdemeanor and felony assault. The charges depend upon the seriousness of the injuries and the intent of the aggressor.
Misdemeanor assault, also called assault in the third degree, is the less serious of the two. It carries a punishment of no more than one year in jail and fines of $2,000. It occurs when someone knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly causes injury to another person. The injury can be minor, including small bruises, scrapes, or a pinched nerve. Negligent use of a dangerous object, such as an automobile or power tool, can also be considered misdemeanor assault. Felony assault requires more serious injuries and carries stiffer punishments, and this crime falls into either first, second, or third degree.
First- & Second-Degree Felony Assault
First-degree assault is the most serious type of felony assault. It requires serious bodily injury that puts the victim at considerable risk of death or which causes permanent disfigurement or protracted loss of use of a limb or organ. The prosecutor must also show the act was intentional with the intent of causing harm.
Second-degree assault involves substantial bodily injury that’s less serious, including broken bones, burns, and major abrasions. The prosecutor may show either intent, recklessness, or wanton use of a dangerous object.
If you or a loved one needs a bail bond for an assault charge, contact 24 Hour Bail Bonds Oahu in Honolulu, HI. These experienced bondsmen service clients throughout Oahu and Kaua’i and offer low rates, self bail, signature bonds, and easy bail bond payment plans. View their services online, or call (808) 699-8760 to schedule a consultation.