Assault is defined as a crime that causes injury to another person, whether intentionally, knowingly, or by reckless actions. Depending on the scenario, assault can be charged in four different levels, each increasing in punishments. Being charged with the crime of assault, no matter what the level, can carry severe consequences since it is a crime against another person.
What levels of assault can I be charged with?
There are four different types of assault the accused could be charged with, each with different qualifications, degree of injury, and penalties:
- Fourth degree: This is the least serious level of assault for those who have been charged with causing a physical injury to another person or causing injury as a result of a deadly weapon due to criminal negligence. Physical injuries in these cases must be fairly minor.
- Third degree: Someone can be charged with third degree assault if they have caused serious physical injury to another person with a weapon, caused serious physical injury to another without valuing human life, harmed a public transit worker, taxi driver, or EMT when they are on duty, caused injury to a youth correctional facility worker, caused injury when aided by another offender, or intentionally harm someone under 10 years of age.
- Second degree: Whenever someone intentionally or knowingly causes serious physical injury, or if it is caused recklessly by someone indifferent to the value of human life, it can be charged as a second degree assault.
- First degree: When someone causes serious physical injury with a dangerous weapon, intentionally harms a child under the age of six, commits assault in the second degree against someone who is pregnant, or certain instances of driving crimes resulting in death or serious physical injury when the defendant has a history of DUI, they face this degree of assault.
Any assault conviction can leave the accused facing significant prison time and hefty fines, as well as having to pay restitution to the person that was injured as a result of intentional or reckless physical harm.
If you or a loved one is facing assault charges, do not leave the decision in the hands of the court! A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help show that assault was not done intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly, leading to reduced sentencing for this crime. In addition, sometimes a crime constitutes self-defense. The law on self-defense in the State of Oregon can be of great assistance to our clients, in trial. Our firm has gone to trial more than 100 times, meaning we have the experience to handle your assault crime of any level. Give us a call today!