Misdemeanor Simple Assault

Misdemeanor Simple Assault (Simple Assault) occurs where a person, intentionally, and without justification or excuse, assaults another person.  Assault is defined as either an intentional application of force, however slight, directly or indirectly, to the body of another person without that person’s consent, an intentional, offensive touching of another person without that person’s consent, an overt act or attempt, or the unequivocal appearance of an attempt, with force and violence, to do some immediate physical injury to the person of another, which show of force or menace of violence must be sufficient to put a person of reasonable firmness in fear of immediate bodily harm, or an intentional attempt, by violence, to do injury to the person of another.

An intentional act may involve either general intent or specific intent.  Specific intent is a mental purpose, aim, or design to accomplish a specific harm or result.  General intent is a mental purpose, aim, or design to perform an act, even though the actor does not necessarily desire the consequences that result.  Intent is a mental attitude seldom provable by direct evidence; instead, it must ordinarily be proved by circumstances from which it may be inferred.  Whether a person acted with such intent is determined based on such just and reasonable deductions from the circumstances proven as a reasonably prudent person would ordinarily draw therefrom.

Simple Assault is a Class 2 misdemeanor, which is the third highest level of misdemeanor.  Depending upon the defendant’s criminal conviction record, it is punishable by either a community probationary sentence, an intermediate probationary sentence, or an active sentence.  Under a probationary sentence, the defendant is sentenced to an amount of time of incarceration and that time is suspended.  If the defendant violates the terms of probation, the probation may be revoked and the defendant will be required to serve an active sentence.

Where the defendant has no prior convictions, the court may order a community probationary sentence of between one and thirty days.  Where the defendant has one to four convictions the court may order either a community probationary sentence or an intermediate probationary sentence of between one and forty-five days.  Where the defendant has four or more convictions the court may order either a community probationary sentence, an intermediate probationary sentence, or an active sentence of between one and sixty days.

There are three defenses to Simple Assault: Self-Defense; Defense of a Family Member; and Defense of a Third-Person.