Investigating a Misdemeanor Assault Case

3 things that are usually true about assault cases:

  1. At least one person acted irrationally
  2. They are centered around a conflict involving emotions or personality
  3. The police were not there to see it

With these three things as a foundation, it is no wonder why many people charged with Assault find the decision to be somewhat arbitrary. While many cases of assault are cut-and-dry, many are not. In these cases, the decision to arrest and charge a person is not necessarily arbitrary, but not necessarily based on a whole lot of evidence, either. For a variety of reasons, most police departments require their officers to make an arrest in connection with a reported assault, no matter how limited the facts may be.

Way too frequently the reports generated by officers investigating an assault are taken for granted, either by the prosecutor, the defense attorney or both. And yet, many cases plug along through the criminal process without any attorney ever speaking with the alleged victim. Fortunately, no one person has a monopoly on investigating a criminal allegation.

Attitudes, perceptions and even the facts underlying the allegations change over time – sometimes even overnight. It is hard to learn these things if attorneys don’t attempt to speak with the witnesses. With the three facts listed above, it shouldn’t surprise people that sometimes reported assaults are exaggerated in order to win an argument, prove a point or teach a lesson.

And not only do witnesses in Assault cases have information which is relevant to guilt or innocence, they have opinions on punishment, too. Even when the case is cut-and-dry, the prosecutor’s idea of an appropriate punishment and the victim’s idea can be worlds apart. While the prosecutor is not bound by the victim’s input, it will almost always have an impact. If a victim desires leniency, the prosecutor should know.

A follow-up investigation once the dust settles can pay dividends, but you cannot rely on the State to do it for you. This is one of many reasons why having the right kind of representation is important when charged with Misdemeanor Assault. And only through an attorney should you ever attempt to reach out to the police or witnesses in an ongoing criminal matter.

*Kyle Therrian is an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice on any case you should contact an attorney directly.

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