Assault charges are usually taken very seriously by prosecutors in Shreveport City Court (misdemeanor only) and Caddo Parish District Court. Although the simple assault charge is a misdemeanor, it can carry up to 6 months in parish jail. If you are arrested or received a summons for such assault in Shreveport, Louisiana or elsewhere in Caddo Parish, you’ll need the best assault defense lawyer to help you. Assault charges can also have civil-case aspects to them as well. Many times, the victim will file a law suit against the defendant alleging damages or emotional harm. Sometimes, the victim will file restraining orders as well. If the victim lives with the defendant, that also creates issues we have to deal with.
The prosecutor bears the burden of proof in a criminal assault case. This is different that a civil assault case. In a civil case, the plaintiff must be able to prove that it is more likely than not that the assault happened. In a criminal assault case, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to harm the victim or placed the victim in the reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.
Assault Criminal Charge in Shreveport
Let’s discuss exactly what an assault is in Louisiana. Assault laws are Louisiana state crimes.
Assault Definition Under La 14:36
Assault is an attempt to commit a battery, or the intentional placing of another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery. Therefore, an assault is when the alleged offender tried to hit the victim or made the victim think he would receive a battery.
Assault is Not Battery
Criminal assault is an intentional crime committed by the defendant when he attempts to commit a battery or make the victim reasonably think he will commit a battery. Basically, the defendant scares the victim enough to make the victim think something more is coming.
Battery Requires Touching
On the other hand, a battery occurs when there is non-consensual touching. With an assault, there is no touching, just an attempt or threat that seems real.
Prosecutors take these cases seriously because although no touching occurred, i.e. battery, they get concerned a battery could happen. Prosecutors represent the interests of the victim. They will ask the victim how to proceed and do what they want.
Victim testimony and witness testimony are all evidence that could be used to prove the assault. However, if the victim or other witness testimony is seen as not credible to the judge, then it will be hard to convict the defendant. Misdemeanor assault cases are tried before a judge only. He is the one that determines guilt if there is no deal worked out.
Types of Assault
Assault charges vary greatly. However, every assault charge is a very serious charge because they all carry potential time in jail or prison. Also, judges take them seriously at sentencing because, if it gets that far, it means there is a victim who has been so scared that they’ve decided to push it this far. The judge may want to slam the defendant for retribution to the defendant. The most common types of assault charges in Shreveport are Simple Assault and Aggravated Assault.
Simple Assault – La RS 14:38
A simple assault charge under La RS 14:38 is regarded as a misdemeanor charge in Shreveport that carries up to 90 days in jail.
Aggravated Assault – La RS 14:37
When a person threatens another intentionally with a dangerous weapon, the charge becomes an aggravated assault. This is still a misdemeanor but it carries up to 6 months in jail. Judges often times put defendants in jail if convicted for aggravated assault in Shreveport. They view aggravated assault as a serious threat to the community. However, there are ways we keep our clients out of jail even if the prosecutor has a good case.
Assault By Drive-By Shooting – La RS 14:37.1
Assault by drive-by shooting is an assault committed with a firearm when an offender uses a motor vehicle to facilitate the assault. This is a felony that carries a sentencing range of 1-5 years in prison. This charge is similar to attempted murder. This is a very serious charge.
Aggravated Assault of a Police Officer – La RS 14:37.2
Basically, an assault under this statute is attempting to hurt a police officer with a dangerous weapon. The most common case is when the defendant is pulled over and then starts to drive off again when the cop is out his car. The police officer will say the driver attempted to hit him with the car. This is a felony that carries a sentencing range of 1-10 years in prison. Sometimes, the charge could turn into an Aggravated assault with a motor vehicle upon a peace officer La RS 14:37.6.
Aggravated Assault with a Firearm – La RS 14:37.4
Aggravated assault with a firearm is an assault committed with a firearm. This is a felony that carries up to 10 years in prison. Prosecutors like this charge a lot. They’ll charge a defendant with this just for having a gun and the victim says he attempted to use it. Especially, if the defendant shoots a shot in the ground, the prosecutor will push it. But, we have your back. We know how to defend these aggravated assault charges.
Domestic Abuse Aggravated Assault – La RS 14:37.7
Domestic abuse aggravated assault is an assault with a dangerous weapon committed by one household member or family member upon another household member or family member. We defend a lot of these, especially since COVID. Usually, the victim alleges that the defendant threw her cell phone back at her or attempted to hit her in some way with a dangerous weapon. This is a very serious charge because it carries 1-5 years in prison.
Call Shreveport Assault Lawyers at the Barkemeyer Law Firm
Defendants arrested for assault charges in Shreveport may also get slapped with other charges such as DWI, battery, flight from an officer, drug charges, etc. This happens because assaults usually occur in heated, emotional situations. Many times, drug or alcohol use is the underlying cause for the behavior. Police officers will tack on whatever charges they can. The prosecutor could change the charges later after the arrest.
However, our Shreveport assault lawyers at the Barkemeyer Law Firm, can protect you regardless of the charge.
668 Jordan Street
Shreveport, Louisiana 71101