Build A Strong Defense
To Protect Your Rights

  1. Home
  2.  → 
  3. Criminal Defense
  4.  → Can you face assault charges when no one got hurt?

Can you face assault charges when no one got hurt?

There are many situations in which people lose their calm and end up engaging in inappropriate acts of physical aggression. Some of those reasons are legal, but many of the most common explanations for interpersonal violence can lead to criminal charges. The situation that led to the violence and the outcome determine the consequences you may face.

You probably understand that if you repeatedly hit and kick someone or shove them down the stairs, then the state of South Dakota will likely charge you with assault, if not a more serious offense. Many people associate assault charges with severe physical injury, and therefore expect to face charges if they intentionally hurt someone else.

If the other party involved in the altercation has no noticeable or long-term injuries, does that provide you with a simple and easy defense strategy for pending assault charges?

South Dakota has a broad definition of assault

Every state has a slightly different definition of assault. In South Dakota, intentionally causing harm to another person will result in assault charges, as will accidentally hurting someone while recklessly using a deadly weapon. The state also defines words or actions that put another person in a state of fear for their immediate safety as a form of assault. You don’t even need to have the ability to follow up on a  threat for it to result in criminal charges.

Provided that the other party believed the threat was credible, you don’t actually need to make physical contact with them at all for the state to charge you with assault. All the prosecutor requires is evidence that you threatened the other party or that they interpreted your actions as a threat to pursue a charge against you.

The best defense strategy depends on the circumstances

There are numerous ways to defend against assault charges, from proving that the other party instigated the altercation and forced you to act in self-defense to showing that you weren’t the other person involved in the fight at all. The best defense strategy will vary depending on the nature of the allegations against you and the kind of evidence that the state has.