Aggravated Assault Overview

Aggravated Assault OverviewAggravated assault refers to a kind of assault that is severely punished by criminal laws owing to its degree of seriousness. Some of the factors responsible for marking an assault as aggravated assault are weapon use, perpetrator intent, victim’s status, intensity of injury suffered, etc. The assaults which take place in the home of victim may also be considered as aggravated assault.

There are states which maintain some assaults under this category of assault as per criminal codes. Some specific names can be given like assault by a fatal weapon. There have been many instances of aggravated assaults qualifying as felonies and simple assaults as misdemeanors. Several states feature high degrees of the criminal charges in aggravated assault cases.

Deadly weapon assault cases

Deadly weapon uses for assault is considered to be aggravated assault. It takes into account if the weapon is causing physical injuries to a person. Basic assault hardly needs physical harm, it just the perpetrator’s behavior which intentionally puts a person in fear for safety.  Someone that pursues it by threatening a person with deadly weapon would commit aggravated assault. It is owing to the fear involved is basically fear for a grievous injury.

The weapons categorized as deadly include those things which may cause serious injury and even death. Their classification as per their manner of use during assault labels them as deadly such as a gun. Similarly a pocket knife doesn’t come under the category of lethal weapon unless it’s held on victim’s neck.

Victim’s identity    

Based on victim’s status, certain assaults turn into aggravated assaults. For instance, several states penalize assault of teachers, fire fighters and police officers as this category of assault. In this case, the victim should be busy with his or her duties during the assault. Similarly, during assault the perpetrator should be aware of victim’s status.

Apart from the probable punishments, the assault on people of protected classes may be considered as hate crimes. It may cover assaults as per race, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity or victim’s disability. As per state laws and rules, reckless behavior may be considered as the similar type of assault. For instance, whenever a person acts recklessly indifferent towards human life without the real intent of injuring any individual. In case there is an involvement of leather, deadly or dangerous weapon, the assault can be considered as aggravated irrespective of specific intent for injuring.

Intensity of victim’s injury

Very serious injuries suffered by the victim due to assault may come under aggravated ones. With maximum cases, the assaults leading to serious physical injury are qualified as aggravated. The serious of some injuries will differ based on the kind of case. Injuries which are threatening enough to cause death qualifies as serious injury. Some of the states specify through legally marked injuries which are qualified as serious. In some cases, the assault method which can cause death may bring only small physical injuries. Some states would consider it to be aggravated and punish accordingly. A professional attorney should be the right person to navigate proper state distinctions.

Image credit: Anatoly Tiplyashin