What are the different degrees of assault in Alabama?

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Being accused of committing a crime can be a terrifying experience. The outcome can have a profound effect on your life and your family. If the crime alleged is assault, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what that means under Alabama law.

What is assault?

Every assault includes causing physical injury to another person. A third-degree assault is the least serious version of assault and is classified as a misdemeanor. It includes situations where the other person is injured intentionally, recklessly or with criminal negligence. If an injury to any person results, while intending to interfere with a police officer, this can also qualify as third-degree assault.

Second-degree assault can occur when the injury caused to another person is more serious – it is now considered a felony offense. It can also be charged when the assault involves specific people, regardless of the severity of the injury. Police officers, teachers and medical professionals are examples. Second-degree assault can also include an assault done with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.

First-degree assault is the most serious form of assault and is also a felony. It includes situations where there is an intent to cause serious injury and the injury is caused with a deadly weapon. If there is an intent to main or permanently disfigure the person, this can also qualify. Also included are situations where the assault occurs in conjunction with committing another serious crime, such as robbery.

Being accused of assault is not the same thing as being convicted of assault. Frequently, the accusations depend upon the testimony of witnesses who can either lie or just be wrong. There is also the possibility of self-defense in many cases. Whatever the situation, it’s important to speak with a professional who is experienced in Alabama criminal law, so that you have a sound defense strategy.