Assault with Caustic Chemicals
Criminal law makes illegal any sort of action that can cause harm to another person. While most assaults are done with conventional weapons, the law also criminalizes the use of non-conventional weapons to hurt or attempt to hurt other people. With this in mind, assault with caustic chemicals is a crime that can lead to serious consequences. In fact, given the rampant fear about the potential spread of chemical warfare and terrorism, assault with caustic chemicals is actually punished more harshly than similar assaults, including assaults on public officials. It’s a felony charge that will require a strong defense for those who find themselves in court.
In order for the state to prove assault with caustic chemicals, the state must prove that a person placed, threw, or otherwise caused caustic, corrosive, or otherwise harmful chemicals on another person. The state must prove, as well, that a person did this with the intention of causing bodily or flesh injury to the other person. As you might recognize, this particular statute is broad. It is designed to cover a number of different substances, and it covers almost any method of delivery that one could imagine. This makes the crime a difficult one to defend against, but it is still possible to mount a solid defense if you have the right attorney on your side.
When looking at the statutes for assault with a deadly weapon, one will see that the state has to prove that the defendant used a weapon capable of inflicting death or great bodily harm. When dealing with the charge of assault with caustic chemicals, any amount of the chemical will do. It does not have to be a quantity that could kill or maim a victim. Even a small splash could potentially lead to charges and a conviction. This is reflective of the fact that chemicals can be very dangerous in small quantities, and emblematic of the reality that chemicals can sometimes spread quickly.
Defense for assault with caustic chemicals
Criminal defense lawyers will work with whatever they have, forming a defense that is most suitable for the individual and the case. With that in mind, there are some common tactics used to fight this charge. For one, criminal defense lawyers can argue that the substance in question was not caustic. While the statute is wide enough to include many different flammable and harmful chemicals, one may be able to argue that the chemical in question was benign.
One could also argue the intent element of the crime. To be convicted of this crime, one must have used the chemicals willfully and maliciously. This means that simply splashing some chemical on a person by accident or through recklessness is not a crime. Many lawyers will focus on the intent of a person to try and mount a strong defense to these serious charges.
The consequences for assault with caustic chemicals
The consequences that come with a conviction can be quite serious. Defendants will face felony charges. In some cases, convictions can land a person in jail for many years. As with most crimes, the ultimate punishment comes from a range and can depend upon many factors, including a person’s prior criminal history.
Good lawyers can come up with a plan to fight a charge of assault with caustic chemicals. They provide a specialized defense, figuring out whether it’s right to take the case to trial or reach a suitable plea agreement settlement. People charged with this crime should not hesitate to get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible.
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