If you are charged with assault, you can expect to have one or two cases pending: a civil case and a criminal case. Criminal cases are related to criminal proceedings that come out of the assault or crime you are charged with. Civil cases will usually be brought forth by either the injured party or their attorneys. In many cases, this will be a personal injury attorney seeking compensation for their client for physical, mental, emotional, or other types of injury. For an overview of what these cases entail and what to expect, keep reading.
Depending on the injuries inflicted, and the victim, assault can carry a heavy jail term. Because it is a very serious crime, it is often prosecuted in court. The first thing that will happen is that you will be arrested. Then, you will be processed and await a bail hearing.
Here, a judge will determine whether you should get bail or not. If they do, they may offer no conditions on the bail and you are free to go pending the case. They may also decide to place restrictions such as a restraining order or restrictions from traveling out of your state or the country.
Preparing for Trial
It is between the bail hearing and the actual case that you start building your defense. This includes collecting evidence, getting in touch with witnesses, and doing everything else you can to come up with a viable defense. To ensure you have the best defense possible, you should consider hiring a criminal defense lawyer. A lawyer like criminal defense lawyer Lauren Campoli of Minneapolis can help you prepare a defense as well as with gathering evidence to prove your innocence.
Trial and Sentencing
The judge will appoint a trial date, usually during your bail hearing. You have to present yourself to court for the start of the hearing. Here, the prosecution will try to prove that you are guilty, and your defense attorney will do the opposite.
If you are found guilty, your punishment will vary depending on the crime’s degree. You can get anything from probation and rehabilitation to several decades in jail.
Civil cases are usually presented in the form of a lawsuit by the victim. The main difference between criminal and civil cases is that there is no jail time if found guilty of assault in a civil case. In these instances, you will provide compensation for the injuries sustained. These can include physical injuries, emotional trauma, loss of income, medical bills, and therapy costs.
Many personal injury cases arising out of assault do not go to court and are settled way before that. Remember that if you are found convicted of assault, there is virtually no chance of winning a civil case. In this case, it would be better to settle out of court as quickly as possible.
When facing assault charges, it is always best to prepare for a civil and criminal case. While a civil case is less likely, contact your criminal lawyer and prepare for criminal charges. If you also face civil charges, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer.