Assault charges are very serious and can result in criminal convictions for Edmonds residents. A person who is charged with assault should understand that different penalties can occur in their case, depending upon the degree of the charge. There are significant differences between first, second and third degree assault charges.

First degree assault is the most serious charge that a person may face in this category of offenses. It is charged when a person intends to inflict great bodily harm on their alleged victim through the use of a firearm or deadly weapon, or when they expose them to a dangerous poison or substance. First degree assault may also be charged when a person is alleged to have actually inflicted great bodily harm on another person.

Second degree assault charges are the result of conduct that does not arise to the level punishable by first degree charges. Second degree assaults may include, but are not limited to, causing victims substantial bodily harm, inflicting torture or using strangulation or suffocation against victims. Third degree assaults involve causing bodily harm to victims through criminal negligence or assaulting individuals who are members of particular professions, such as doctors, police and fire fighters and bus drivers.

While a first degree assault charge may land a person in jail for over a decade, the punishment for a third degree assault charge may only last for a matter of weeks. The degree of assault a person is charged with can make a huge difference in the penalties they may have to serve if they are convicted. It is important to explore the available criminal defense options.