Protecting Your Rights Throughout Eastern Iowa Since 1981

What actions can lead to assault charges?

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Getting into fights is never fun. Altercations might start as disagreements and escalate to physical violence. Attacking someone could result in assault charges, but it is not always required. Even nonphysical encounters could bring about assault offenses.

The law has strict provisions when it comes to assault. It is a violation if an individual commits the following:

  • Any actions intended to cause physical harm or injury to another person
  • Intimidating or threatening another person with violence to cause fear of bodily harm
  • Using or pointing a firearm or weapon to threaten another
  • Pointing any device producing a laser light to cause pain or injury

If any of these violations happen during a fight, it could potentially result in assault charges for those who committed them.

Exceptions enforced by the law

Still, the law provides exceptions based on the circumstances. Law enforcement officers and medical practitioners usually use laser-producing tools to do their jobs. Also, not all lasers are harmful. The law does not cover variants used for sports or games, such as laser tag or paintball.

Additionally, sport-related fighting is an exception. Physical harm in these sports is an expected result of participation. Professionals also facilitate these activities in a controlled environment, reducing the risk of serious harm.

Even if the fight happened, the law could exempt participants if their jobs included intervening and de-escalating disturbances. Occupations with this responsibility usually include staff in educational agencies, security guards and other employed officers meant to maintain peace in designated areas.

However, it could depend on the force used. The exception might only apply if their participation is proportionate to what is necessary to stop the fight and protect the safety of other people within the vicinity.