Aggravated assault is the attempt to cause what is termed serious bodily harm to another person with disregard for human life. The factors that can play into this include the status of the victim, the use of a weapon, the intent of the crime and the extent of injuries caused. Read on to learn more.
States classify certain assaults as aggravated as per their own state criminal codes. Other terms they may use, for example, may be “assault with deadly weapon.” These are often considered felonies, while simple assaults are often considered to be misdemeanors. There are also multiple degrees of criminal charges for assault in many states.
The use of a deadly weapon constitutes an aggravated assault regardless of whether the weapon harmed anyone. Physical harm is not always an ingredient of basic assault, but rather the perpetrator behaved in a way (for example threatening them) to make the victim fear for their safety. However, that threat can often make the assault be elevated to an aggravated assault charge because the fear factor is more harmful than a physical injury. Weapons may include guns as well as the way the yare used. A pocket knife may only be considered a lethal weapon if it used in way that can threaten the life of an individual.
Depending on the status of the victim, some assaults may become aggravated, for example, those visited upon essential services personnel. This is especially so when the victim was performing their duty and the perpetrator was aware of the victims role.
Degree Of Injury
Serious injuries can cause an assault charges to be raised to that of an aggravated charge – usually injuries that will disfigure or maim the victim – though some states list certain injuries. Even if the injuries end up as minor, some states will say certain injuries fall under the aggravated assault statues. Sexual assaults are usually classed as their own form of assault but charges may include battery/assault, aggravated rape or assault an sexual assault.
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*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.