Assault Defense

The attorneys at Burke Law have successfully defended charges ranging from simple assault to aggravated domestic assault.

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Assault crimes range widely based on the seriousness of injury experienced by the alleged victim. The attorneys at Burke Law have successfully defended charges ranging from simple assault to aggravated domestic assault. The defense strategy varies based on the circumstances of the specific case, but is always developed in conjunction with the client. Certain assault charges in Vermont can impact a defendant’s ability to own or to possess firearms.

At Burke Law we know how important our clients’ second amendment rights are. Our attorneys can advise you of the potential impact that an assault conviction could have to your firearm rights. Liberty interests are always are the center of our client’s defense whether the client is facing prison time, loss of firearm rights, probation, or monetary penalties.

The Vermont simple assault statute which defines the crime and the potential penalties associated with it can be found here: Vermont Simple Assault Statute

The Vermont aggravated assault statue can be found here: Vermont Aggravated Assault Statute

The Vermont domestic assault and aggravated domestic assault statutes can be found here: Vermont Domestic Assault Statute & Vermont Aggravated Domestic Assault.

Vermont Assault FAQs

Yes. Even if the complaining witness in a Vermont domestic assault case does not want the case to be prosecuted, the State can choose to prosecute you anyway.

If you have been charged with domestic assault and you believe that the complaining witness no longer wants to go forward with the case, please contact one of our attorneys at Burke Law as soon as possible because there may be steps that can be taken to minimize your potential criminal liability.

I was attacked by the complaining witness in a Vermont assault case, can I use self defense to protect myself?

Vermont law surrounding self defense in assault cases is complex. It is often used when someone is attacked in their home, or even in public, and then the victim attacks back at the aggressor. The aggressor may be more injured than the victim, which could result in the victim being charged with a crime. There are a variety of situations in which the defense can be used. 

Self defense is what is called an affirmative defense, meaning that it is a type of criminal defense that usually needs to be asserted once your case is already charged and there are certain threshold showings you must make to present it to a jury. The Vermont Model Jury Instructions provide a basic framework of what a defendant must show at a jury trial.  

Steps You Can Take To Help Your Self Defense Case

There are ways to help your self defense case (such as taking pictures of your injuries when they are fresh and seeking appropriate medical treatment for yourself). If there are any witnesses to you using self defense in a Vermont assault case, it may be helpful to have them give sworn statements. Working with an experienced Vermont criminal defense attorney as soon as soon as possible is a good idea in these types of cases. 

It is important to call an attorney right away to help you prepare your self defense case for assault charges in Vermont. 

I was cited to court in Vermont for an assault and released on a condition that I have no contact with the alleged victim. The alleged victim of the assault is contacting me. Can I speak to the alleged victim of the assault if he or she is contacting me?

No. Absolutely not.  If you have a no contact condition it is a violation of your conditions of release for the pending assault – no matter which party initiates the contact. Violating your conditions of release in Vermont can result in new criminal charges or even being held in jail until your court date. For reference, the standard condition of release court form can be found here.

Are you saying that it doesn’t matter to the Court at all that it was the alleged victim who was contacting me?

Yes. It does not matter that the victim contacts you. You cannot have contact because you are subject to the no contact condition of release. If the alleged victim contacts you, hang up the phone. If the alleged victim approaches you, walk away. You can help your criminal defense by documenting any instances when an alleged victim contacts you after a no contact condition of release is imposed by writing down the time, place and manner of the attempted contact with you by the alleged victim.

Can a third party contact the person who I am not to have contact with to relay a message?

No. No contact means no direct contact, no phone contact, no electronic contact, and no contact through third parties.

If you are subject to a no contact order in Vermont criminal court and the person keeps attempting to initiate contact with you, let your attorney know right away.

No. Voluntary statements made to the police can still be used against you in the future. Even what seems like an innocent way of explaining what happened during the fight could result in you being charged with assault, domestic assault, aggravated assault, disorderly conduct or another criminal charge in Vermont.

If you believe that you may be a suspect of a crime, always contact an attorney before you speak to law enforcement.

At Burke Law we cover the entire state of Vermont from two office locations (Burlington and White River Junction) and have an on-call system. Contact Burke Law any time. We will help you devise a plan to protect your rights.

Vermont law surrounding self-defense in assault cases is complex. Self-defense is what is called an affirmative defense, meaning that it is a type of criminal defense that usually needs to be asserted once your case is already charged. There are ways to help your self-defense case (such as taking pictures of your injuries when they are fresh and seeking appropriate medical treatment for yourself). If there were any witnesses to you using self-defense in a Vermont assault case, it may be helpful to have them give sworn statements. It is important to call an attorney right away to help you prepare your self-defense case for assault charges in Vermont.

Yes. Assault and Robbery is a felony in Vermont. According to the Vermont Statutes “a person who assaults another and robs, steals, or takes from his or her person or in his or her presence money or other property that may be the subject of larceny shall be imprisoned for not more than 10 years.” The penalties become even more serious if the defendant is alleged to have possessed a deadly weapon during the course of the Assault and Robbery or if someone was injured during the alleged Assault and Robbery.

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“We take a highly personalized approach to every case we fight. We believe in criminal justice and will ensure that we get you the best results possible.”
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Jessica Burke

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"Jessica Burke was extremely professional, knowledgeable, compassionate and understanding. Her hard work showed in the positive result."
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"Leah Henderson is a proactive advocate for the ones who need her in action when facing the possibility of charges that can affect the rest of your lives."
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Experienced, Connected, and Results-Driven

Our team has decades of combined experience working within the local courts in Vermont. Our relationships with prosecutors and judges help us to make sure our clients get the best outcomes possible.

Energetic, Eager to Advocate, and Passionate About Justice

We are professionals with the experience and energy to fight for what we believe in and advocate for our clients, even if it means taking a case to trial. We’re passionate about helping our clients move forward with their lives.

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