A criminal conviction for aggravated assault can have lasting negative impacts on your life. You could face jail time, fines, restitution to the victim, and the lasting impacts of having a felony on your record.
Preparing a thorough defense against an aggravated assault charge is crucial for minimizing or eliminating harsh penalties that could follow you for years.
Assault, in general, is an unwanted, intentional contact against another person, or even just a threat for contact that causes a person to have reasonable apprehension that contact is imminent. Simple assault can be any type of contact, regardless of the extent of injury. The intent for simple assault usually isn’t intent to cause harm, only intent to make contact with someone else’s body.
Aggravated assault, on the other hand, involves an intent to cause a significant injury to another person, typically using a type of force against them that you know could lead to serious harm or even death. Use of a deadly weapon is often a factor that indicates an aggravated assault. Showing a deadly weapon as a threat to another person can be tried as attempted aggravated assault.
Actions that count as aggravated assault and their punishments differ from state to state. In some states, you may see stiffer penalties for aggravated assaults that happen in a domestic violence situation.
Assault charges can be broken into varying levels of severity. First-degree aggravated assault is the most serious. Typically, aggravated assault requires premeditation to commit the violent act that caused the harm, or the attempt of a seriously harmful act.
While penalties for a first-degree aggravated assault charge will vary by state, convictions will typically result in jail sentences up to 25 years or more, and steep fines that can top $20,000.
Second-degree aggravated assault, while a lesser charge than first-degree, is almost always a felony. Unlike first degree, aggravated assault in the second degree typically lacks premeditation, though it does still have the intentional act of causing, or attempting to cause, serious bodily harm or injury.
Depending on your state, a conviction for second-degree aggravated assault could lead to 10 or 15 years in jail, and fines of several thousand dollars.
When the aggravated assault still causes or threatens serious bodily injury, but is more reckless in natural than intentional, some states may consider it a third-degree offense.
Penalties for this type of aggravated assault range from one year in prison up to five years or even 10. Fines are usually a couple of thousand dollars.
On top of fines, victims of aggravated assault can also take the perpetrators to civil court to receive compensation for their injuries.
If you’re charged with an aggravated assault, you could face years in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines and monetary damages, as well as a serious mark on your criminal record that could impact future employment and housing. To reduce these risks, you need to build a solid defense as soon as possible. Saying or doing the wrong thing early on in the investigation could case serious harm to your case. Working with an attorney with experience in aggravate assault cases could help your defense and better your chances in court.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified aggravated assault lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local aggravated assault attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.