Frequently, the police, when called to a family dispute, will arrest someone just to keep the peace. Many times, they speak to only the complainant. Often, the complainant does not want the defendant arrested, or says things that are not accurate. If the complainant tries to "drop the charges" or to give a more accurate version later, the State will not believe the complainant.
These cases can be compounded if there is a claim that there was "family violence," a very broad definition that can have even more severe consequences. A finding of family violence can doom even a legal resident's hard earned status.
Usually, the complainant has to be present to testify for the State to be successful in a prosecution for assault. This is due to the accused's right to confront the witnesses against him or her.
These type of cases are very fact-specific. We will take the time to listen and learn from you about the facts and the dynamics between the individuals. We will do whatever is necessary, whether it is to negotiate a dismissal based on taking a class or taking the case to trial.
Aggravated assault is a big jump from assault that is not aggravated. It is a second degree felony, punishable up to 20 years. Even if one doesn't touch the other person but threatens with a deadly weapon, he can be facing aggravated assault charges. A deadly weapon can be almost anything. It does not have to be a gun or a knife. Aggravated assault can sometimes be reduced to a misdemeanor assault.
Injury to a child or elderly can be charged if the accused causes serious bodily injury, serious mental deficiency, impairment or injury or bodily injury. Abandoning or endagaring a child includes leaving a child younger than 15, for whom the individual has custody, care or control, in any place without providing reasonable and necessary case for the child under circumstances which no reasonable, similarly situated adult would leave a child of that age and ability. Endangering a child includes putting the child in imminent danger of death, bodily injury, or physical or mental impairment. I often represent clients who are charged with endangerment based on drug use or possession in the home. These cases usually also have a CPS case tied to it.
Unlike most crimes, these cases can be charged for an omission to act, if there are facts supporting a duty to care for someone. These crimes can be a state jail all the way to a first degree felony.
All of these kind of cases are difficult as it usually involves family, sometimes dysfunctional relationships, a history of bad acts and feelings. It is best to get an attorney who can look at the whole picture to defend these cases.