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Q: What qualifies as assault?

Most people don’t realize assault is not just intentionally striking another person, punching them or getting into a fight.

Simple Assault can involve only minor cuts and scratches or bruises. If you push someone once and even if lightly, or pull their hair these are all examples of simple assault or domestic violence that if proven can convict you of the crime.

The law defines simple assault as:

  • The intent to cause physical harm to someone
  • The attempt to physically injure someone
  • Causing bodily injury

The threat of serious injury that causes the person to be fearful that they are going to suffer that injury.

In domestic violence there is also a special relationship between the parties such as:

  • Current or former spouses
  • Parents, children, or other relatives in the same house.
  • A person who has a biological child with the person who committed the assault
  • A person who lives in the same house with the person who committed the assault
  • A person who had a dating relationship with the person who committed the assault

The law clearly explains that assault is both the actual bodily harm but can also be just involve  the fear of, or the threat of bodily harm coupled with the ability to carry out that harm. The only requirement is the intent to cause the victim the harm, or intent to cause them the fear of being assaulted.


            A fine of not more than $500.00 and possibly up to six months in jail.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault can be found in the Mississippi Code at §97-7-3 and occurs when a person attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another, or does cause serious bodily purposely, knowingly or recklessly under circumstances that cause extreme indifference to the value of human life; or (b) attempt to cause purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon or other means likely to produce death or serious bodily harm

Examples of Aggravated Assault are shooting someone, stabbing someone, beating someone up so badly it causes serious bodily injury; using any ordinary object to beat someone, using your vehicle as a weapon. These types of crimes are usually a felony charge carrying at least a year in prison, or over 20 years.

In every case, there are circumstances that lead to such altercations and reasonable explanations why the incident occurred. It is important to chose an attorney who can advocate and fight for your right to explain and defend what happened.

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