The crime of assault is serious business in the state of Alabama. In Alabama, most types of assault are considered to be a felony offense with the exception of 3rd degree assault. There are two different types of offenses that a person can incur. One type of offense is a misdemeanor.
Misdemeanors are considered to be lesser crimes and usually only come with a light sentence with the max being a year in county jail. A felony, however, is much more severe. This type of offense can land an individual in prison for at least a year or longer depending on the crime and the degree of severity of the crime.
Alabama Assault Laws and Statutes
The assault laws in Alabama come in three different degrees. Each of these three degrees of assault has different statutes and rules that define the type of assault that fits into each of the different categories.
First degree assault in Alabama is considered to be a Class B felony offense. A first degree assault charge means that an individual purposely attempted to cause physical injury or harm to someone else using an instrument or weapon that could potentially kill the individual or cause them to become disfigured. It also defines a first degree offense as acting recklessly without regard for the value of human life that can cause the serious injury or death of another human being. First degree rape is also considered first degree assault in Alabama. This is the most serious type of assault offense and carries with it the heaviest possible sentencing for an assault offense.
Second degree assault is considered to be a Class C felony. Alabama law defines this particular offense as an individual who purposefully injures another person physically. This can mean injuring someone during a fist fight or injuring someone with an object that could be considered a deadly weapon. It also includes individuals who use an object carelessly that could put people at risk for injury or death. This is the second most severe assault charge a person can be charged with.
Third degree assault is a Class A misdemeanor. The law is defined as when an individual either purposefully or by accident causes physical injury to another person. This injury can be the result of negligence or by acting recklessly or carelessly with an object that could be considered a deadly weapon. This is the lightest of the assault charges and carries a minimal sentence.
The Penalties for Assault in Alabama
The penalties for being convicted of assault in Alabama vary depending on which of the three classes of offense you are charged with or convicted of. A third degree assault charge carries the lightest sentence.
If you are convicted of third degree assault the maximum sentence you can get is a year in county jail. The penalties for first and second degree assault, however, have serious prison time attached to them as a penalty.
If you are convicted of a Class C felony you could spend up to 10 years in prison at the maximum, but no less than a year and one day. If convicted of a Class B felony you could spend up to a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Getting Legal Representation
If you have been charged with assault in the state of Alabama, it is critical that you contact a professional lawyer immediately. A good defense attorney can help make sure that you are given a fair trial and that you are indeed considered innocent until proven guilty. One of the strategies your lawyer might seek to use is self-defense. If you are charged with assault because of a physical altercation and were attacked first, the self defense strategy will be the best defense against the assault charge.