A dispute that turns physical can lead to assault charges in Nebraska and other states. Aside from self-defense, injuring someone intentionally — and even unintentionally, in some cases — is illegal. Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony assault charge, the ramifications of a conviction could land you in hot water, indeed. Chapin Law Office has been defending the rights of clients accused of criminal assault for 30 years and is prepared to do the same for you.
In Nebraska, one can be charged with misdemeanor assault for “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person, or threatening another in a menacing manner.” This means that it is illegal to strike, hit, punch, or otherwise hurt someone, even if you never act on the threat.
There are two classifications for misdemeanor assault: Class I and Class II. Class II misdemeanors are applied in less serious situations, such as when two people get in a fight outside of a bar. These are punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Class I misdemeanors are reserved for more serious actions, such as hurting an unsuspecting victims. These are punishable by up to one year in jail and fines up to $1,000.
In circumstances where the assault causes “great bodily harm,” the defendant will face the more serious felony charge. Under the law, great bodily harm is defined as an action that causes “a substantial risk of death, or that involves substantial risk of serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part or organ of the body.” Furthermore, any assault on a police officer or other authority figure is automatically prosecuted as a felony.
Felony assaults often include aggravating factors, such as use of a deadly weapon like a gun or motor vehicle. First degree assaults are prosecuted as Class II felonies, punishable by one to 50 years in jail and restitution fines. Assaulting a public official or a pregnant person is considered a Class I felony and is punishable by three to 50 years in jail and fines.
As stated above, assault charges are very serious and require an excellent criminal defense. We will carefully examine the arrest record and see whether the arresting officers followed all necessary protocol. If we can determine that your case was mishandled in any way, we have a good shot at seeing your charges reduced or dismissed. If that’s not possible, we will explore other avenues and see that your rights are respected in court.