Most people who are charged with assault are embarrassed about the situation they find themselves in. They may have had too much to drink, and an argument escalated into a fight. They may consider pleading guilty to the charges simply because they want to move on.
Unfortunately, pleading guilty will not make assault charges go away. Pleading guilty will result in a lifetime criminal record that could affect you for the rest of your life. It could lead to the loss of employment opportunities and other consequences down the road.
Why you need to keep your record as clear as possible
If a prosecutor offers you a deal that includes a fine and no jail time, that offer would not be a good deal if it comes with a permanent criminal record. The long-term consequences of having a criminal record are far more serious than the short-term consequences such as jail time.
Background checks have become a fact of life. Employers, landlords, colleges, lenders, insurance companies, licensing agencies and government assistance programs regularly conduct background checks on applicants. If you have a criminal record for assault, you could lose out on opportunities.
Your guilty plea could also be used as evidence against you in a personal injury lawsuit filed by the alleged victim.
Defenses to assault charges
In many cases it is possible to resolve assault charges without the stigma of a criminal conviction. For example, defense of self or others is a defense to assault charges.
If you are charged with assault, don’t let a one-time mistake does not become a permanent criminal record. To protect your future, seek legal advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.