Facing a simple assault charge in Mississippi? Understand the potential penalties and how Harris Law Firm can provide the defense strategy you need.

Key Takeaways

  • Penalties: Simple assault can result in up to six months in jail, a $500 fine, or both. Enhanced penalties apply for bias-motivated crimes.
  • Restitution: Conviction may also require up to $5,000 in restitution to the victim.
  • Defense Strategies: Various defenses exist, including challenging the prosecution’s evidence and claiming self-defense.
  • Collateral Consequences: A misdemeanor conviction can impact employment, housing, child custody, and education opportunities.

What is the punishment for simple assault in Mississippi?

In Mississippi, simple assault is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail, a fine up to $500, or both. Penalties can double for assaults motivated by the victim’s protected characteristics. Convicts may also be required to pay restitution, highlighting the importance of experienced legal representation in mitigating these consequences.

Simple Assault in Mississippi: What You Should Know

Simple Assault Mississippi

Simple assault in Mississippi is a misdemeanor, so any punishment you face will be less than if you had been convicted of felony assault.

Nevertheless, the collateral consequences of any criminal conviction are sufficiently serious that you should have a lawyer review the charges against you and identify your best course of action.

At Harris Law Firm, we have handled countless simple assault cases, so please reach out to us today.


If convicted, you might also be required to pay restitution to your victim. Restitution pays the victim for any medical care they needed because of the injuries you caused. Restitution might also replace any lost property that you damaged during the assault. Mississippi can require you to pay up to $5,000 in restitution.

Fighting a Simple Assault Charge

To be convicted, the prosecutor must show that you actually committed the offense. There are several ways you can commit simple assault:

  • You intentionally or recklessly caused physical injury to another person. For example, you slapped or punched another person.
  • You attempted to physically injure another person. For example, you could swing at another person but miss them. Nevertheless, this still qualifies as assault.
  • You negligently caused bodily injury with a deadly weapon or another means of inflicting death or serious bodily harm. For example, you might have carelessly pointed your gun and struck someone in the face.
  • You physically menaced another person so that they felt fear that they are about to be physically injured. For example, you shouted and rushed at another person while carrying a baseball bat. Even if you never swung the bat, you might still be convicted of assault.

Ready to Speak to a Mississippi Simple Assault Attorney?

If you recently been involved in an assault incident and have suffered injuries, you shouldn’t face it alone. We want to hear from you, simply fill out the form below and we will contact you to set up a consultation. We just need some brief information:

To qualify as simple assault, the injury must be minor—a cut, scrape, or bruise will suffice. If the injuries are more serious, like a broken bone, then you would probably be charged with aggravated battery. Also, you cannot have assaulted certain members of protected occupations, such as a firefighter, police officer, judge, or legislator.

Depending on the facts, you might have a valid defense. For example, threatening another person so that they feel afraid of physical injuries is very vague. Often, harsh words are not enough, even if you shout loudly at a person. You might be able to defend your words as mere threats.

Furthermore, you might claim that your assault was committed in self-defense. If someone else was about to strike you, then you might have taken a swung at them to protect yourself from serious injury.

The Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Conviction

Although a misdemeanor is less serious than a felony, a misdemeanor will still hang over your head. As many people have found, misdemeanor convictions can cause problems down the road, such as:

  • Make it harder for you to get a job. Many employers ask about criminal history. They also run a criminal background check, so lying about your criminal history does not do you any good. Depending on the employer, they might throw your application in the trash simply because of the misdemeanor conviction.
  • Impair your ability to rent an apartment. Many landlords also run criminal background checks as part of the application process. If they see a conviction for simple assault, you might have a harder time convincing the landlord to rent to you.
  • Impede your ability to obtain child custody. If you committed assault against a family member, then the judge can consider this fact when deciding whether to grant you legal or physical custody. You will need to show that you have rehabilitated yourself, by receiving treatment for drug or alcohol addiction or by completing a class on domestic violence.
  • Frustrate your admission to college. Many colleges and universities ask about criminal convictions, and they might deny you admissions if you have an assault conviction.

Few people fully consider these collateral consequences, which can be just as painful as six months in jail and a $500 fine. Furthermore, this conviction will follow you around for the rest of your life. Rather than sit back and wait for the legal process to play itself out, you should hire a Mississippi criminal defense attorney to vigorously fight the assault charge.

How a Mississippi Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

Many times, simple assault charges are brought on nothing more than the alleged victim filing a police report. The state does not have adequate context for understanding what the dispute was about, which can reduce your own culpability for the assault.

At Harris Law Firm, we seek out every advantage we can find for our clients. To that end, we can:

  • Try to get the charges dropped by brining exculpatory evidence to the attention of the prosecutor.
  • Seek a suspended sentence that will allow you to avoid going to jail.
  • Ask the judge to dismiss the case for lack of probable cause.
  • Defend you in court so that you can win an acquittal.

Each case is different, and every client gets an individualized case review. Yet our goal remains the same—to obtain the best possible result that justice allows.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Criminal Defense Attorney in Mississippi

There is nothing “simple” about a simple assault allegation. Defendants face considerable time in jail, as well as disruptive collateral consequences, for nothing more serious than taking a swing at someone. If you or a loved one has been accused of simple assault in Mississippi, you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney to represent you.

Harris Law Firm has worked as tireless advocates on behalf of criminal defendants for decades. We are proud of our results and have obtained many favorable outcomes for our clients. Please call 877-714-4171 to schedule your free consultation or submit our contact form.

Author Photo

Noel Harris

W. Noel Harris, founder of Harris Law Firm, PLLC, is a distinguished personal injury attorney with a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law. Since 1981, he has been a dedicated member of the Plaintiff’s bar, specializing in personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and products liability. Known for his profound legal knowledge and tenacious client representation, Noel has over three decades of experience, yielding numerous million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. His commitment to justice is reflected in his memberships in prestigious legal associations, including the Mississippi and Arkansas Bars, Mississippi Association for Justice, American Association for Justice, and the National Trial Lawyers Association. Recognized as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer and holding an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, Noel’s expertise and ethical standards set him apart as a leading advocate for accident victims in Greenville, MS. Read

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