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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.
No matter what your legal issue may be, it is always best to seek legal help early in the process. An attorney can help secure what is likely to be the best possible outcome for your situation and avoid both unnecessary complications or errors.
An experienced lawyer should be able to communicate a basic “road map” on how to proceed. The lawyer should be able to walk you through the anticipated process, key considerations, and potential pitfalls to avoid. Once you’ve laid out the facts of your situation to the lawyer, he/she should be able to frame expectations and likely scenarios to help you understand your legal issue.
Bill by the hour: Many attorneys bill by the hour. How much an attorney bills you per hour will vary based on a number of factors. For instance, an attorney’s hourly fee may fluctuate based on whether that hour is spent representing you in court or doing research on your case. Attorneys in one practice area may bill you more than attorneys in a different practice area.
Contingent fee: Some lawyers will accept payment via contingent fee. In this arrangement, the lawyer receives a percentage of the total monetary recovery if you win your lawsuit. In sum, the lawyer only gets paid if you win. Contingent fee agreements are limited to specific practice areas in civil law.
Flat fee: For “routine” legal work where the attorney generally knows the amount of time and resources necessary to complete the task, he/she may be willing to bill you a flat fee for services performed.
Affidavit – A sworn written statement made under oath. An affidavit is meant to be a supporting document to the court assisting in the verification of certain facts. An affidavit may or may not require notarization.