An aggravated assault is similar to a simple assault, but it involves some factor that increases its severity from a misdemeanor to a felony. For instance, serious injuries can result in aggravated assault charges. This includes life-threatening injuries or injuries that disfigure or maim the victim. It could even include cases where the assailant made the victim fear serious injuries, whether the victim received any injuries or not.
If an assault involves a deadly weapon, the authorities will normally classify it as an aggravated assault. This applies even when the assailant only threatens to use the weapon against the victim. Authorities consider any weapon that could kill or seriously injure a person to be a deadly weapon, such as guns or knives. The determination of whether a weapon is deadly or not is normally a case-by-case decision.
Many assaults against a person may automatically be aggravated assault because of who the person is. This could include teachers, police officers and firefighters. If the assault occurred inside the victim’s home, the authorities may consider it an aggravated assault. Assaults could even become hate crimes if the victim belongs to a protected class. In most cases, sexual assaults fall under a completely different category than simple or aggravated assaults.
Anybody facing a weapon charge, whether it is aggravated assault or unlawful weapon possession, should speak with an attorney about what options he or she has. An attorney could protect the defendant’s rights throughout the police investigation and could advise the defendant on how to proceed. The attorney may also be able to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecutor that could reduce the charge’s severity. This could mean a reduced sentence and smaller fines, but it is not always the best option because each case varies.