A person charged with assault may not believe the charge is anything too serious. In some cases, that may be true and the charge gets dropped or reduced to time served.

However, if you commit an act of assault, do you know the type of punishment you may face? If you find yourself charged with assault, knowing the differences in charges may help you better predict the outcome.

Definition of assault

Under Ohio law, assault means attempting to cause harm or actually harming someone else or an unborn child.  If you attempt to hurt someone or cause someone to get hurt, this also falls under the assault definition.

Battery is not the same thing

You may have heard assault and battery used interchangeably, or at least in the same sentence. However, battery is not the same. When a person commits battery, he or she has physically harmed someone intentionally. While assault is the threat or attempt to do harm, battery is the actual act of harming.

Different types of assault

Under the current law, you may find yourself charged with one of three types of assault:

·          Simple assault

·          Negligent assault

·          Felony assault

A simple assault usually involves one person causing harm to another by acting recklessly. You do not need to have intent for a court to find you guilty. You may have to pay up to $1,000 in fines, and you may spend up to six months in the local county jail.

Negligent assault involves hurting another through the mishandling of a weapon. An example is the improper discharge of a gun or failure to store it properly. The sentence, if convicted, carries up to 60 days in jail and fines totaling $500.

Felony assault is the heftiest charge you can face. You may find yourself facing these charges if you threaten someone with a deadly weapon. A conviction may land you in jail for up to 11 years and leave you with $20,000 in fines and fees.

If you find yourself facing assault charges, you may want to speak to an attorney for help and guidance. An experienced criminal law firm may have the resources to fight the charge.