There are specific circumstances that will determine whether the case is an assault, misdemeanor or felony. Many people may not realize the difference between a simple assault and a felonious assault. This is the reason why there is a need for an assault lawyer who can focus on defending assault charges. Remember, your freedom may be at stake.
A summary assault offense cost Andy McDade his position as chief of Brooklyn Fire Department. He received an absolute discharge from the court in 2018. McDade was previously charged with sexual assault but he pleaded not guilty to the charge on September 2018. The charge was eventually reduced to summary assault charge because of lack of evidence from the Crown. McDade also changed his plea to guilty.
According to reports, McDade has touched a woman for several times without her consent. He would brush the woman’s hair with his hands, grasp the elbow and arms or gesture to the legs. John Shanks, the lawyer of McDade said that the gestures were purely for friendly interactions and not sexual in purpose. When he makes a friendly farewell, McDade would touch the woman to say goodbye. The lawyer further said that his client will refrain from similar actions in the future.
Judge Ronda Van Der Hoek said the subsequent dismissal of McDade from his position in the Brooklyn Fire Department and loss of his employment is already an adequate punishment for this level of assault which is considered minor. The judge believes that McDade is not a threat to the general population.
Few people know that simple touching is considered as an offense. However, there are people who do not want to be touched; something that was acceptable 50 years ago. Society has changed and McDade learned a difficult lesson. It is unfortunate because McDade has talents that are needed by the community.
Regardless of the circumstances, it is always important for defendants in an assault charge to have an experienced assault lawyer for defense. Sometimes, simple assault can arise from a simple misunderstanding. There are many legal options and possible defenses to avoid a permanent criminal record.