Under the Louisiana law governing Jefferson Parish, assault is defined as an act of violence against another person. It, however, becomes an aggravated assault if a dangerous weapon is used in the process. Assault is a crime that encompasses apprehension, attempts to injure someone, and generally, unlawful violence to hurt another person. You must know that you may be charged for assault even when you haven’t gotten physical with the other person. An action to threaten or instil fear of harm or an attempt to injure can get you thrown in jail for assault.
Assault and Battery are sister crimes that are mostly confused with each other. But, to clear that up, battery involves actual physical contact with the victim. Physical contact has to be established for a crime to be called a battery, but an assault doesn’t necessarily require physical contact.
Importantly, never trivialize an assault case because the law doesn’t do so. Assault is a serious crime in Gretna, Metairie, Kenner, and the entire Jefferson Parish, thus, it is met with punishments according to the law. If you are charged for assault in Jefferson Parish, you need to seek legal assistance as soon as possible.
What Are The Penalties for Simple Assault in Jefferson Parish?
Penal Code LA Code RS 14:38 states that anyone found guilty of a simple assault shall be fined more than $200 or sentenced to jail for more than 90 days, or both. This code charges simple assault in Jefferson Parish as a misdemeanor.
What Are The Penalties for Aggravated Assault in Jefferson Parish?
Aggravated assault is a general term for serious assault crimes. For example, if you are charged for assaulting another person with a dangerous weapon, you will be made to face penalties for aggravated assault. Penalties for aggravated assault in Jefferson Parish are more serious than those of a simple assault.
Aggravated assault can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on factors or circumstances referred to as “aggravating factors ” and also, degree of harm done. Penalties for aggravated assault becomes steeper in the following circumstances;
A. Assault with a dangerous weapon
If you are found committing an assault with a dangerous weapon like a knife or gun, or other means of force that is likely to inflict bodily injury, you may be charged for felony aggravated assault (assault with a weapon).
i. Aggravated assault with a firearm; this crime involves the discharge of a firearm during an assault. It is a felony offense punishable by a prison sentence of up to 10 years, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. However, if the dangerous weapon was only as an object of threat, e.g., threatening to shoot at someone, the offender is punished for a misdemeanor.
ii. Drive-by shooting; involves firing a weapon from a motor vehicle with the intent to frighten, kill, or injure the victim. This is a felony offense punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment.
B. Assault on certain victims
i. Assault on certain victims may impose more jail time. If an assault is committed to certain victims including the elderly, disabled, school employee, healthcare professionals, emergency room official, adult protective and child welfare employees, etc, the court imposes more jail time on the offender.
ii. Assault against a public official (police officers, judges, public prosecutors, public defenders); this involves an assault on a public official in the cause of his duties by pointing a gun at or threatening to shoot the officer. It is punished as a felony in Jefferson Parish. The offender is sentenced to 1- 10 years imprisonment (with it without hard labor), fined up to $5,000, or both. If the assault is committed without a deadly weapon, the offender is charged for a misdemeanor assault.
iii. If the assault is committed against a retail employee while robbing or attempting to rob a merchant’s shop, the offender is made to serve a mandatory minimum of 120 days to 6 months jail time, and pay a fine of up to $1,000. If a deadly weapon was used in the process, the offender faces a more grievous penalty.
C. Domestic abuse by aggravated assault
Using a dangerous weapon to assault a member of your household is charged as a felony offense in Jefferson. It is punishable by 1 to 5 years imprisonment, up to $5,000 fine, or both.
Does The Firearm Sentencing Enhancement Statue Affect A Crime of Assault?
The state law guiding Jefferson enforces a strict statue on assault with a dangerous weapon. If an offender uses or discharges a firearm while committing assault, the firearm sentencing enhancement statue requires the court to impose specific enhanced penalties for which probation, parole, or suspension of sentence isn’t allowed.
This statue ensures that an offender/defendant is made to serve their prison term and pay their fines as should be. The enhancement may not apply to assault crimes such as assault against a police officer with a firearm, or drive-by shooting.
How Do Mandatory Sentences Apply To Assault?
Certain situations warrant mandatory sentences. The mandatory sentences ensure that defendants serve a mandatory length of years in prison or get the maximum sentence for the offense committed.
i. If the defendant possesses a firearm while committing a felony or misdemeanor assault, the sentence is 2 years imprisonment or the maximum sentence for the crime if the penalty is less than 2 years.
ii. If the defendant USED a weapon in the commission of the crime e.g. uses a gun to threaten someone, the sentence is 5 years imprisonment or the offender gets the maximum sentence if the penalty of the crime is less than 5 years.
iii. If a shot(s) was(were) fired during an assault, the sentence is 10 years imprisonment or the defendant gets the maximum sentence for the crime if the maximum sentence is less than 10 years.
iv. If the defendant used the dangerous weapon to commit assault and caused bodily injury, the sentence is 15 years imprisonment or the maximum sentence for the crime if the maximum sentence is less than 15 years.