Lafayette Violent Crimes Defense Attorney
Attentively and Aggressively Defending Your Future
Attorney Jordan T. Precht is a bold and aggressive attorney who knows how to bring a powerful fight to court in his clients’ defense. If you are facing harsh or wrongful accusations of violent crimes like assault, battery, or murder, contact Precht Law Firm immediately to get started on your defense.
What Are the Differences Between Misdemeanor and Felony Assault?
As defined by Louisiana law, assault is an attempt to cause physical injury to another person, such as attempting to strike someone with a hand or object and missing. Assault is also any intentional act or threat of action that reasonably causes a person to feel afraid of impending violence. While words alone do not constitute assault, if a person threatens to attack or injure another, appears to have the ability to carry out the threat, and causes the other person to reasonably believe that they are about to be struck or injured, the offender has committed an assault.
Assault can be charged at either the misdemeanor or felony level, depending on the nature of the crime. For instance, simple assault is an assault that is committed without a dangerous weapon and is a misdemeanor. Aggravated assault, assault committed with a dangerous weapon, is also a misdemeanor. However, an assault that is committed with a firearm is a felony.
A person convicted of simple assault in Louisiana could face the following penalties:
- up to 90 days in jail;
- a fine up to $200;
- probation for up to 2 years; and
The following incidents of aggravated assaults are considered felonies and carry the following associated punishments:
- Assault committed with a motor vehicle against a peace officer acting in the performance of their duties – a fine up to $5,000 and/or 1-10 years in prison with or without hard labor.
- Assault on a school employee acting in the performance of their duties by an offender who is not a student – a fine up to $2,000 and/or 1-3 years in prison, with or without hard labor.
- Assault by adding a harmful or poisonous substance to food, drink, or medicine with the intent to injure other person – a fine up to $1,000 and/or 2 years in prison with or without hard labor.
Misdemeanor and Felony Battery
Battery in Louisiana is the intentional infliction of force against another person, such as punching another person or actually hitting them with an object. Battery without a weapon and without intentional infliction of serious injury is simple battery, the least serious battery offense under Louisiana law. A battery committed with a weapon or that results in serious injury to the other person, on the other hand, is a felony.
The penalties for a crime of simple battery are:
- up to 6 months in jail;
- a fine up to $1000;
- probation for up to 2 years; and
Second degree battery is battery committed with the intent to inflict serious bodily injury, which involves unconsciousness, extreme physical pain, protracted and obvious disfigurement, protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or mental faculty, or a substantial risk of death.
Aggravated battery is battery committed with a dangerous weapon, such as any object or gas, liquid, or substance that is used in a manner likely to cause death or great bodily harm. Other dangerous weapons could be a firearm, knife, rock, or pipe, among other examples.
The penalties for felony battery are specific to the individual offense. For instance, a convicted individual could face a fine of up to $5,000 or up to 10 years in prison with or without hard labor for aggravated battery or 25-99 years in prison with hard labor for oral sexual battery or sexual battery against special victims.
Murder and Manslaughter Laws
Other categories of violent crimes are homicide and manslaughter, which are punished more severely than assault and battery. A crime of first-degree murder is the most serious form of homicide in Louisiana, and an offense can occur in circumstances involving kidnapping, rape, murder for hire, and others. Upon conviction, first-degree murder carries a possible sentence of life imprisonment without parole or even the death penalty.
Like first-degree murder, second-degree murder is an intentional killing, though it is not planned or premeditated. Second-degree murder is punishable by life in prison without parole.
Manslaughter is a form of murder committed under certain mitigating circumstances. It is usually committed in the “heat of passion” from a provocation, where a person is presumed to be so angry that they lose control. A charge of manslaughter can carry up to 40 years in prison, but if the alleged victim was under the age of 10, the sentence will range from 10-40 years.
Contact Precht Law Firm Today
If you have been charged with a violent crime, whether assault, battery, or murder, do not hesitate to consult an experienced defense attorney immediately for legal guidance. The legal process following a charge of a violent offense can be confusing, especially when an incident can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Precht Law Firm can provide the representation you need to navigate the legal repercussions and build a strong defense for you in court.
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