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Aggravated assault is a charge for threatening to physically injure, or actually physically injuring, a victim. In some jurisdictions, this behavior may also fall under battery or aggravated battery charges, though there is a distinction between the two charges in certain states which differentiate between assault and battery.
In these jurisdictions, assault is separated from battery where battery requires actual physical contact to be made between offender and victim. Assault charges are not bound by any such elemental requirement and can be just a serious threat made with intent.
Aggravated assault is categorized as a felony in nearly all instances. Due to the severity of the crime, it is differentiated from simple assault, which can sometimes be classified as a misdemeanor rather than a felony.
The primary difference between assault and aggravated assault is the severity of the offense. There are several ways an instance of assault can escalate into an instance of aggravated assault — the threat of use of, or use of, a deadly weapon being one primary example.
Further, assault of a minor, assault of the elderly, assault of an individual in the public service or assault of an individual for whom you are designated a caretaker can all result in aggravated assault charges rather than simple assault charges.
Simple assault can be as simple as making a verbal threat against a victim with intent to start a fistfight, but aggravated assault might be something more like pulling a gun or a knife out, brandishing it threateningly at the victim.
The penalty for aggravated assault is typically quite severe, and the charge is prone to sentence enhancement for a variety of reasons.
Aggravated assault is typically charged at the state level, as battery and aggravated battery are the nearby charges which are typically heard in federal court. That being said, penalties do vary based on the degree classification of the felony, the particulars relevant to each incidental case and the state the case is being heard in.
In some states, the penalty for aggravated assault could be one year of imprisonment, fines of up to $10,000 and a potential probation period. Aggravated assault can also be either a second-degree felony or a first-degree felony. The penalty for second-degree aggravated assault is a jail term of two to 20 years, while first-degree aggravated assault penalties can include five to 99 years in jail.
Aggravated assault can lead to prison for any number of years, with sentencing enhancement allowing for what are essentially life sentences in some states.
Probation is a common penalty if you are convicted of aggravated assault, given that the crime is, by its nature, a violent offense. A probation period may stretch anywhere from six months to a few years, with it being necessary to keep in regular contact with a probation officer as well as abiding by all rules set forth at the outset of the probationary period.
Those looking to avoid probation or conviction of aggravated assault charges should secure an experienced and professional legal counsel as soon as possible. Even if a trial may look unfavorable to you, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a reduced sentence via a plea deal or bargain with the prosecution.
Aggravated assault is the crime of assault but is more serious by the law. The crime could escalate to aggravated assault by using a weapon, based on who the victim is and also the intent of the person.
If you are charged with aggravated assault immediately contact a criminal defense lawyer experienced in aggravated assault cases. The lawyer will explain the law to you, outline your options, form your defense and aggressively challenge the evidence against you.
An attorney can often resolve your particular legal issue faster and better than trying to do it alone. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system, while avoiding costly mistakes or procedural errors. You should seek out an attorney whose practice focuses on the area of law most relevant to your issue.
The more experienced a lawyer is in legal practice, the more likely he/she will be able to bring about a successful resolution to your issue. Since experience matters, lawyers who’ve been practicing law for many years (with a successful track record) tend to be in high demand. You should look for information about a lawyer’s experience and ask questions during the initial meeting. It’s a very good idea to ask the lawyer how many years he/she has been practicing law and the expected outcome of your case.
Pro se – This Latin term refers to representing yourself in court instead of hiring professional legal counsel. Pro se representation can occur in either criminal or civil cases.
Statute – Refers to a law created by a legislative body. For example, the laws enacted by Congress are statutes.
Subject matter jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority to hear the claim based on the specific type of issue brought to the court. For example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court only has subject matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy filings, therefore it does not have the authority to render binding judgment over other types of cases, such as divorce.