Assault is a broad, almost vague, term that means the unwanted touching of a person that results in an injury. There are varying degrees of assault in Kentucky, each carrying different fines and penalties.
Being charged with assault in Kentucky can have serious implications for the accused. Not only can the charges go on your record, but they might also affect a person’s professional and personal life in many ways. Dan Carman and Attorneys believe that everyone deserves competent, skilled legal representation, no matter what they are accused of. We will work to protect your rights.
Assault Charges in Kentucky
In 2014, there were over 30,000 assault offenses reported to the Kentucky State Police. Their report for that year shows these Kentucky cities having some of the highest number of assault offenses:
- Lexington – 3,999 assault offenses reported
- Bowling Green – 1,179 assault offenses reported
- Owensboro – 1,135 assault offenses reported
- Paducah – 1,071 assault offenses reported
- Covington – 852 assault offenses reported
- Frankfort – 822 assault offenses reported
- Henderson – 725 assault offenses reported
- Richmond – 715 assault offenses reported
- Elizabethtown – 574 assault offenses reported
- Hopkinsville – 522 assault offenses reported.
Understanding Assault Charges
Assaults can be considered “intentional” (the person assaulted another on purpose), “wanton” (the person was aware of the risks involved but did it anyway) or “reckless” (a person fails to recognize that a risk is present). Each of these categories can affect the degree of an assault charge.
The Use of a Deadly Weapon and Dangerous Instruments
“Dangerous instrument” is a term that includes items or bodily parts that can cause harm to another person. This can include fists or baseball bats, for example. “Deadly weapon” is a term that includes items ranging from weapons of mass destruction to knives and guns.
Degrees of Assault Charges in Kentucky
- Assault 1st Degree – Assault in the first degree is a Class B felony in Kentucky. These charges occur when a person is accused of intentionally causing physical injury to another person with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, or if they wantonly engage “in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another and thereby causes serious physical injury to another person.”
- Assault 2nd Degree – Assault in the second degree is a Class C felony in Kentucky. These charges occur when a person is accused of intentionally causing physical injury or wantonly causing harm to another person with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
- Assault 3rd Degree – Assault in the third degree is a Class D felony in Kentucky. These charges occur when a person is accused of intentionally causing harm to particular individuals, usually state employees, such as probation officers, parole officers, teachers or state, county, city, or federal peace officers.
- Assault 4th Degree – Assault in the fourth degree is a Class A misdemeanor in Kentucky. These charges occur when a person is accused of intentionally or wantonly causing harm to another person, or recklessly causing harm to another person with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
Under Kentucky law, harassment is not the same as assault, though it can be added to assault charges, or is a charge to which an assault charge is sometimes amended down. There many forms of harassment, including following or intimidating another person. Threats are often considered to be a form of harassment. Harassment is a Class B misdemeanor in Kentucky.
Unlawful imprisonment is also a separate charge from assault. Unlawful imprisonment occurs when a person “knowingly and unlawfully restrains another person under circumstances which expose that person to a risk of serious physical injury.” Unlawful imprisonment in the first degree is a Class D felony in Kentucky.
How We Can Help
A skilled assault charge defense attorney will investigate every aspect of your case. Many factors determine the severity of an assault charge, leaving an attorney with the opportunity to explore many different avenues when building a case. For example, your defense attorney will take factors like self-defense or the accused’s mental state into account.
If you or a loved one has been accused of assault in Kentucky, Dan Carman and Attorneys can help. We have represented many clients to ensure that they are treated fairly, providing an aggressive defense to achieve the best possible result. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.