My 14 year old son was physically assaulted by a man

Assault against a minor

Recently on our forum we had a user ask, "My 14 year old son was physically assaulted by a man after he accidently bumped into the man's wife. The man was charged with a crime. What happens now?"

States have different names for what you described. If your son was attacked, in some states it's considered battery- the intentional touching of another person. In other states it can be described as assault and battery. Still other states may call it simply assault, which means there may or may not have been physical violence, but your son was afraid there could have been. Consider, however, a verbal "threat of violence" generally does not rise to the level of assault in these states.

If the man was charged with simple battery or assault and there was little injury or simply a threat of violence, he will probably be charged with a misdemeanor. If however, your son suffered permanent disfigurement or there was great bodily harm that could result in your son's death, the man could be charged with felony assault.

Will the man be convicted of assault?

For the man to be convicted of assault the state will have to prove all of the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Evidence can include evidence of injury, witness testimony, etc. There are valid defenses against assault such as self-defense, no criminal intent or insanity, but none of these sound valid in your case.

If the man is convicted of misdemeanor assault he could receive the following:

  • jail time
  • community service
  • probation
  • restitution
  • anger management classes
  • alcohol or substance abuse treatment, and
    fines

State laws vary, and in some states a judge may have some discretion. For instance, the judge could decide to give the defendant probation rather than prison time.

Civil cases for injury after assault

Now another question is whether or not your son was seriously injured and if you should be compensated for the cost of his injuries.

If your son was seriously injured in the assault you may have the option to file a personal injury claim against the defendant and sue for damages or compensation for your son's injuries. A civil suit can be brought against the defendant regardless of whether or not he is charged or convicted of a crime. For instance, O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of killing Nicole Simpson, but the family won a civil suit against him.

Another issue to consider, however, is whether your son injured the woman when he knocked her down. Although what you described sounds minor, if the woman was injured her family may also have the right to counter sue and ask the court to determine if your son was responsible for the woman's injuries.

Personal injury law varies by state. For instance, some states will not provide compensation to victims who are partly responsible for their own injuries; other states maintain the victim must be less than 50% responsible for their injuries. Other states will simply determine the percent each party is at fault and divide the money accordingly.

All states have a statute of limitations for filing a civil claim. If your son has been injured it's a good idea to talk to an injury lawyer.

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