When a person is arrested in Alabama, they will have a litany of questions as to what might happen to them. Assault, for example, can be a first, second or third-degree crime. Part of knowing how to lodge a defense starts with knowing the type of crime that is being alleged. For those who are facing charges of first-degree assault, knowing the law is a key first step.
When might I be charged with first-degree assault?
In general, the basics for any assault charge are serious physical injury to another person. If there is an accusation that a person committed this act using a dangerous object like a pipe or weapon, they can be charged with first-degree assault. If the attempt was to disfigure the victim, cause them to lose a limb or leave them permanently disabled, this too is first-degree assault.
Even if the intent to injure the other person was not apparent, first-degree assault can stem from an indifference to human life. If the accused behaved in a way that indicated they did not care if the other person suffered serious injuries because of that behavior, then there can be a charge of first-degree assault.
If the person was committing another crime such as arson, burglary, escape, kidnapping, rape, robbery, sodomy or other felonies that are obvious risks to human life, this charge can be made. It can also be made if the person was fleeing from having committed these crimes and the other person is injured during that flight. Finally, a person who was driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination can be charged if they have an accident and injure another person with their vehicle.
The penalties for first-degree assault can be severe and a strong defense is needed
Any arrest can cause major problems in a person’s life. Not only might they end up with jail time, but it could cause them financial strain and damage their entire future. This is true for those who have had previous experience with criminal violations and those who might have been arrested for the first time.
First-degree assault is a Class B felony, so a conviction will likely result in a prison sentence that could start at a minimum of two years and be a minimum of 10 years depending on the circumstances. Some terms can be confusing as to what they are accused of doing and the potential penalties that can accompany a conviction. Even though these charges are obviously serious, there are effective avenues of criminal defense or plea bargains that might be useful. Having advice from the beginning can assess the charges and forge a strategy.