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Fighting assault charges: why is it important to get an attorney?

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

If you have been accused of assault, you face serious consequences that can affect your future. Assault is a violent crime that can result in jail time, fines, probation and an Oregon criminal record. Depending on the degree of assault, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, which have different levels of penalties.

What is assault?

According to Oregon law, assault is defined as intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing physical injury to another person. There are four degrees of assault, ranging from first degree (the most serious) to fourth degree (the least serious).

Assault penalties

First-degree assault is a Class A felony that carries a maximum of 20 years, as well as a fine of up to $375,000. Second-degree assault is a Class B felony that carries a maximum of 10 years, as well as a fine of up to $250,000.

A third-degree assault is also a felony. However, it is a Class C felony. If convicted, you face up to a five-year prison term and up to a $125,000 fine. Finally, fourth-degree assault is a Class A misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail and up to $6,250 fine.

Long-term consequences

Jail and fines are not the only consequences. There are other long-term consequences of having an assault conviction on your record. This includes difficulty finding employment or housing, the loss of professional licenses or certifications. Plus, an assault conviction can damage your reputation and relationships.

Fighting back

As you can see, the stakes are high when you are facing assault charges. That is why it is important to get an attorney who can help you fight your case and protect your rights. They can also negotiate with the prosecutor for a plea bargain or a dismissal of the charges.

For your case, attorneys can challenge the evidence and witnesses against you, present your defense and mitigating factors in court and explain the legal process and answer your questions along the way.

If you have been charged with assault in Oregon, a criminal defense attorney can fight for your freedom and your future. Do not let an assault charge ruin your life.