Aggravated assault occurs when a person attempts to inflict serious bodily harm to another person with disregard for human life. There are a few factors that can raise an assault to an aggravated level, such as the identity of the victim, weapon used, intent and severity of the injury. Aggravated assault often qualify as felonies and come with very serious penalties.
Identity of the Victim
Whether or not an assault is deemed aggravated or not may depend on the identity of the victim. For instance, the majority of states consider assault on police officers, teachers and firefighters aggravated. For an assault to be considered aggravated in this situation, the victim must have been on duty when assaulted.
If the perpetrator used a deadly weapon during an assault, it’s considered aggravated. Weapons that are considered deadly include guns, knives, axes and bats.
The intent of the perpetrator can also turn a simple assault into an aggravated one. If it’s proven that the perpetrator had the intent to cause severe harm to another person, he or she may be charged with aggravated assault.
Severity of Injuries
The severity of the injuries will also be taken into account. Injuries that are life-threatening and those that disfigure a victim will definitely qualify as serious injuries. If a method of assault that would typically result in death only causes minor injuries, a judge may still treat it as aggravated assault.
Hiring a Lawyer for an Aggravated Assault Charge
Getting charged with aggravated assault is a serious matter. It can result in jail time, hefty fines and a permanent criminal record. That’s why it’s crucial to consult with an experienced criminal lawyer as soon as possible. He or she can help you build a strong defense and improve your chances of a favorable outcome.
During your initial consultation with a criminal lawyer, remember to bring any documents you have pertaining to your case, such as a police report. You should also be prepared to answer several questions about your case, such as where the incident occurred and what you were officially charged with. He or she may also want to know if you’ve previously been in trouble with the law. It’s important to answer each question honestly and with as much detail as possible. The more information your lawyer has, the better he or she can help you.