In Kentucky, assault can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the incident leading to arrest. Generally speaking, one thinks of assault charges as the result of a physical altercation. Some assault charges only require the attempted injury when a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument is used against certain specified individuals (commonly police officers, teachers, and probation and parole officers). If convicted of assault in Kentucky, one faces not only fines, jail or prison, and probation, but is often plagued by a criminal record. If you have been accused of assault, you need the help of an experienced assault lawyer to defend against your criminal charge. Assault charges often come as a result of conflicting testimony regarding complete or partial defenses regarding who was the instigator and who was acting in self-defense or in some instances imperfect self-defense. Apollo Law, PLLC can help you tell your side of what happened.
Types of Assault Charges
Assault charges in Kentucky vary in severity from misdemeanor simple assault to felony aggravated assault. Each of these assault charges carries the potential for heavy fines and significant jail time, and all invoke a criminal record for a violent crime.
- Assault in the 4th Degree – In Kentucky, assault in the 4th degree is a misdemeanor offense resulting from an assault that results in minimal injury to the alleged victim. An individual can recklessly cause physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument and still be culpable for this offense. Assault in the 4th degree in Kentucky is punishable by a maximum fine of $500 and up to 12 months in jail. If the assault is committed during an extreme emotional disturbance the maximum fine is $250 and not more than 90 days in jail. Likewise, the penalty can be increased in circumstances where an individual has three or more convictions for assault in the fourth degree against a family member or other person with whom there was an unmarried relationship within five years. There is no requirement that the victims be the same individuals under Kentucky law. In such instances, the penalty may be increased to a felony with a maximum fine of $10,000 not less than $1,000 and not more than 5 years in prison and not less than 1 year in prison.
- Assault in the 3rd Degree – Assault in the 3rd degree is a more serious offense than assault in the 4th degree, leading to a fine of up to $10,000 not less than $1,000 and not more than 5 years in prison and not less than 1 year in prison. A person may be culpable for assault in the third degree if they recklessly with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument intentionally cause or attempt to cause physical injury to a police officer, teacher, probation and parole officer or another protected individual under the statute.
- Assault in the 2nd Degree – Assault in the 2nd degree is a more serious offense than assault in the 3rd degree and may involve cases where the injury caused is serious, with some type of permanent impairment. A person may be guilty of this offense when he or she intentionally causes serious physical injury to another person; or he or she intentionally causes physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument. Or they may wantonly cause serious physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument and be culpable for the offense. The offense is punishable by not less than $1,000 and no more than $10,000 and up to 10 years in prison and no less than 5 years in prison.
- Assault in the 1st Degree – Assault in the 1st degree is considered the most serious assault offense in the Commonwealth. Assault in the first degree is a felony charge resulting from an altercation that inflicts serious injury with typically involving prolonged or permanent disfigurement, or risk of death. Assault in the 1st degree in Kentucky is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and no less than 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine but no less than $1,000. Even the attempt alone of this offense carries significant penalties—up to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Contact an Attorney
A Kentucky assault lawyer can carefully evaluate your case and your charge to craft the best possible defense. Whether bringing about reduced charges, getting the charges against you dropped and the case dismissed, or defending you at trial to bring an acquittal, a Kentucky assault attorney can tailor the defense to your unique case, bringing about the best possible result.
You should consult Apollo Law, PLLC and begin protecting yourself today.