You can be charged with assault, battery and/or harassment in state court or in municipal court. The possible penalties for these crimes are significant.
Assault & Battery
There are different levels of assault. You can be charged with simple assault and battery in municipal court. You can also be charged with third, second or first degree assault in state court. The degree of the assault determines whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony. The degree of assault is determined by various factors, including the level of injury, whether a weapon was used and, if so, what type of weapon was used. Some types of felony assault carry mandatory prison sentences. All levels of assault are punishable by some type of incarceration.
There are also different levels and types of harassment. You can be charged with harassment in municipal or state court. Harassment can be charged if there is unwanted physical contact or other disruptive or unwanted behavior. In state court, all types of harassment are class three misdemeanors. Because of this classification, harassment is punishable by jail time.
In some situations, even if an assault, battery or harassment occurred, there may be a legal defense to your actions. Self defense, defense of property and defense of others are called affirmative defenses. This means you did, in fact, engage in the conduct alleged, but you were legally justified in doing so. Because the type of conduct that might result in charges is so varied, an attorney can help you negotiate with the prosecution and explain the reason for your conduct.