2013 Mississippi Code
Title 97 - CRIMES
Chapter 3 - CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON
§ 97-3-7 - Simple assault; aggravated assault; simple domestic violence; aggravated domestic violence


MS Code § 97-3-7 (2013) What's This?

(1) (a) A person is guilty of simple assault if he (i) attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; (ii) negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon or other means likely to produce death or serious bodily harm; or (iii) attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily harm; and, upon conviction, he shall be punished by a fine of not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($ 500.00) or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six (6) months, or both.

(b) However, a person convicted of simple assault (i) upon a statewide elected official, law enforcement officer, fireman, emergency medical personnel, public health personnel, social worker or family protection specialist or family protection worker employed by the Department of Human Services or another agency, youth detention center personnel, training school juvenile care worker, any county or municipal jail officer, superintendent, principal, teacher or other instructional personnel, school attendance officer, school bus driver, or a judge of a circuit, chancery, county, justice, municipal or youth court or a judge of the Court of Appeals or a justice of the Supreme Court, district attorney, legal assistant to a district attorney, county prosecutor, municipal prosecutor, court reporter employed by a court, court administrator, clerk or deputy clerk of the court, or public defender, while such statewide elected official, judge or justice, law enforcement officer, fireman, emergency medical personnel, public health personnel, social worker, family protection specialist, family protection worker, youth detention center personnel, training school juvenile care worker, any county or municipal jail officer, superintendent, principal, teacher or other instructional personnel, school attendance officer, school bus driver, district attorney, legal assistant to a district attorney, county prosecutor, municipal prosecutor, court reporter employed by a court, court administrator, clerk or deputy clerk of the court, or public defender is acting within the scope of his duty, office or employment; (ii) upon a legislator while the Legislature is in regular or extraordinary session or while otherwise acting within the scope of his duty, office or employment; or (iii) upon a person who is sixty-five (65) years of age or older or a person who is a vulnerable adult, as defined in Section 43-47-5, shall be punished by a fine of not more than One Thousand Dollars ($ 1,000.00) or by imprisonment for not more than five (5) years, or both.

(2) (a) A person is guilty of aggravated assault if he (i) attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another, or causes such injury purposely, knowingly or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life; (ii) attempts to cause or purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon or other means likely to produce death or serious bodily harm; or (iii) causes any injury to a child who is in the process of boarding or exiting a school bus in the course of a violation of Section 63-3-615; and, upon conviction, he shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year or in the Penitentiary for not more than twenty (20) years.

(b) However, a person convicted of aggravated assault (i) upon a statewide elected official, law enforcement officer, fireman, emergency medical personnel, public health personnel, social worker, family protection specialist, family protection worker employed by the Department of Human Services or another agency, youth detention center personnel, training school juvenile care worker, any county or municipal jail officer, superintendent, principal, teacher or other instructional personnel, school attendance officer, school bus driver, or a judge of a circuit, chancery, county, justice, municipal or youth court or a judge of the Court of Appeals or a justice of the Supreme Court, district attorney, legal assistant to a district attorney, county prosecutor, municipal prosecutor, court reporter employed by a court, court administrator, clerk or deputy clerk of the court, or public defender, while such statewide elected official, judge or justice, law enforcement officer, fireman, emergency medical personnel, public health personnel, social worker, family protection specialist, family protection worker, youth detention center personnel, training school juvenile care worker, any county or municipal jail officer, superintendent, principal, teacher or other instructional personnel, school attendance officer, school bus driver, district attorney, legal assistant to a district attorney, county prosecutor, municipal prosecutor, court reporter employed by a court, court administrator, clerk or deputy clerk of the court, or public defender is acting within the scope of his duty, office or employment; (ii) upon a legislator while the Legislature is in regular or extraordinary session or while otherwise acting within the scope of his duty, office or employment; or (iii) upon a person who is sixty-five (65) years of age or older or a person who is a vulnerable adult, as defined in Section 43-47-5, shall be punished by a fine of not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($ 5,000.00) or by imprisonment for not more than thirty (30) years, or both.

(3) A person is guilty of simple domestic violence who commits simple assault as described in subsection (1) of this section against a current or former spouse of the defendant or a child of that person, a person living as a spouse or who formerly lived as a spouse with the defendant or a child of that person, a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild or someone similarly situated to the defendant, a person who has a current or former dating relationship with the defendant, or a person with whom the defendant has had a biological or legally adopted child and, upon conviction, the defendant shall be punished as provided under subsection (1) of this section; however, upon a third or subsequent conviction of simple domestic violence, whether against the same or another victim and within five (5) years, the defendant shall be guilty of a felony and sentenced to a term of imprisonment not less than five (5) nor more than ten (10) years. In sentencing, the court shall consider as an aggravating factor whether the crime was committed in the physical presence or hearing of a child under sixteen (16) years of age who was, at the time of the offense, living within either the residence of the victim, the residence of the perpetrator, or the residence where the offense occurred.

(4) A person is guilty of aggravated domestic violence who commits aggravated assault as described in subsection (2) of this section against, or who strangles, or attempts to strangle, a current or former spouse of the defendant or a child of that person, a person living as a spouse or who formerly lived as a spouse with the defendant or a child of that person, a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild or someone similarly situated to the defendant, a person who has a current or former dating relationship with the defendant, or a person with whom the defendant has had a biological or legally adopted child. Upon conviction, the defendant shall be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than two (2) years nor more than twenty (20) years; however, upon a third or subsequent conviction of aggravated domestic violence, whether against the same or another victim and within five (5) years, the defendant shall be guilty of a felony and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than ten (10) nor more than twenty (20) years. In sentencing, the court shall consider as an aggravating factor whether the crime was committed in the physical presence or hearing of a child under sixteen (16) years of age who was, at the time of the offense, living within either the residence of the victim, the residence of the perpetrator, or the residence where the offense occurred. Reasonable discipline of a child, such as spanking, is not an offense under this subsection (4). A person convicted of aggravated domestic violence shall not be eligible for parole under the provisions of Section 47-7-3(1) (c) until he shall have served one (1) year of his sentence.

For the purposes of this section, "strangle" means to restrict the flow of oxygen or blood by intentionally applying pressure on the neck or throat of another person by any means or to intentionally block the nose or mouth of another person by any means.

(5) "Dating relationship" means a social relationship as defined in Section 93-21-3.

(6) Every conviction of domestic violence may require as a condition of any suspended sentence that the defendant participate in counseling or treatment to bring about the cessation of domestic abuse. The defendant may be required to pay all or part of the cost of the counseling or treatment, in the discretion of the court.

(7) When investigating allegations of a violation of subsection (3) or (4) of this section, law enforcement officers shall utilize the form prescribed for such purposes by the Office of the Attorney General in consultation with the sheriff's and police chief's associations. However, failure of law enforcement to utilize the uniform offense report shall not be a defense to a crime charged under subsection (3) or (4) of this section.

(8) In any conviction of assault as described in any subsection of this section which arises from an incident of domestic violence, the sentencing order shall include the designation "domestic violence." The court clerk shall enter the disposition of the matter into the corresponding uniform offense report.

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