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What is simple assault in Mississippi?

On Behalf of | May 14, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Conflicts between people happen all the time – and most of them are resolved without any kind of serious incident.

When things escalate, however, you can find yourself suddenly facing simple assault charges. While still a misdemeanor, not a felony, simple assault is still punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine (with more serious penalties possible depending upon the status of the victim).

It’s easier to get charged with assault than you realize

It is important to remember that the victim does not actually need to be injured for an assault charge to stick. You can be charged with simple assault for:

  • Either knowingly or recklessly causing someone an injury
  • Negligently causing someone bodily injury with a deadly weapon
  • Threatening someone in a way that causes them legitimate fear of imminent and serious physical harm

In practical terms, that means that you can end up being charged with assault for things like:

  • Shoving someone backward in a fight and knocking them down
  • Taking a swing at a bartender or bouncer, even though you miss
  • Shooting a gun into the air in celebration and accidentally injuring someone
  • Carelessly setting off fireworks into a crowd of onlookers
  • Picked up an iron pipe to make your point when you’re threatening someone

A conviction for simple assault, even without jail time, can have serious consequences on your life. You may find it harder to obtain employment, rent housing or pursue a higher education. Any conviction for a violent offense has negative long-term implications for your entire life. If you find yourself facing charges after an altercation of some kind, the wisest thing you can do is invoke your right to remain silent until you can further explore your defenses.