Understanding Mississippi assault charges

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

If you were taken into custody by the Meridian police for assault, you’re probably wondering what sort of charges you are likely to face. A lot depends on how you were alleged to have assaulted the person and whom you are accused of assaulting.

Some offenses carry more severe consequences. One tactic a defense attorney could use is to try and reduce the severity of the charge.

Simple assault and aggravated assault are the two definitions used under Mississippi law.

Mississippi defines simple assault as follows:

  • You were trying to injure the other person.
  • You injured them with a lethal weapon without meaning to.
  • You were trying to intimidate them with threats of violence.

Any of the above could result in up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500.

If you face charges of assaulting someone over 65 years old or with a disability, you could spend up to five years in jail and be fined up to $1000. The same applies if the alleged victim is: an emergency service worker, social worker, teacher, school bus driver, judge, court worker or military personnel.

Note this only applies if they were on duty in their role at the time. If you were fighting with an off-duty navy seal in a bar, the rule does not apply, and you are probably thankful to be still alive.

Aggravated assault is a more severe charge based on one of the following:

  • You were trying to harm them using a deadly weapon.
  • You were trying to harm them and appear not to have cared if they died.
  • You injured a child getting on or off a school bus after failing to stop for the bus as required by traffic law.

If convicted of aggravated assault, you could face up to 20 years in jail. However, if you are convicted of aggravated assault against someone who is elderly, disabled or on duty in the specific jobs mentioned earlier, you could spend 30 years in jail.

If there was a discriminatory element to any assault, the state could increase charges. You could also face federal charges under hate-crime laws.

If you are accused of assaulting a family member or girlfriend or ex-partner, the charges are dealt with under domestic violence laws instead.