Being charged with assault can have a significant negative impact on your life. Whether it's your first time running into legal trouble or you have previous experience with the legal system, an assault charge is something to take very seriously. The definition of assault varies from state to state. The penalties for assault also depend on the severity of the situation and the location where the crime occurred. If you are dealing with an assault charge, here are three things that you should do.
Hire A Lawyer
The first thing that you should do after being charged with assault is to hire a lawyer. You will want to look for a criminal defense lawyer or an assault lawyer to take on your case. A criminal defense lawyer will have experience in cases like yours and will work to get the best legal outcome for your situation. They will also be able to explain the legal process you will be going through in the coming weeks and months. The cost of a lawyer will vary, but most criminal defense lawyers charge between $150 and $700 per hour for their services. Some will charge a flat fee of a few thousand dollars, depending on your case.
Consider A Plea Agreement
If you have been charged with assault, a plea agreement may be the best option. The definition of assault and also the consequences differ depending on the state in which the crime was committed. Depending on your circumstances, your defense lawyer and the prosecutor may be able to enter a plea agreement. With a plea agreement, you may be able to avoid jail time or plea to a lesser charge. If a plea agreement is possible, your lawyer will help you decide whether or not the deal is advantageous.
Follow Your Lawyer's Advice
Another thing that you should do after being charged with assault is to follow your lawyer's advice. Navigating the legal system alone can be incredibly challenging, which is why hiring a lawyer is beneficial. However, you must follow their advice. Staying out of trouble and making your court dates are also essential. If your lawyer recommends that you attend an anger management program or therapy, you should do so. These steps can improve the outcome of your case.
If you have been charged with assault, there are a few things that you should do as soon as possible. First, hiring a criminal defense lawyer is vital. A defense lawyer will help you get through the legal challenges you are soon to face. You will also want to consider any possible plea agreements that may arise. Often a plea agreement will be your best option. Finally, following your lawyer's advice and instructions is essential.