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When does an assault charge become aggravated assault?

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2023 | Criminal Defense

When you hear about a crime involving assault, you probably can instantly picture a movie scene of someone threatening or harming another person. On the other hand, you might not know the level a violent act needs to escalate for it to become an aggravated assault.

Before getting into a more detailed explanation of aggravated assault, it’s worth noting that an assault crime doesn’t always end with injury. Just attempting to hurt someone and being capable of hurting them is enough to get in legal trouble. Therefore, if someone is facing an aggravated assault charge, that means they had a clear goal of causing severe physical pain or injury. Depending on the details of the crime, offenders may face more serious criminal penalties. Here are three factors that can increase the severity of the crime:

  1. Weapon: Using a weapon or everyday object as a tool to harm someone is an aspect of aggravated assault. Weapons used for harm or intimidation can both warrant a criminal charge.
  2. Injury: The intensity of injuries an offender causes can lead to more intense punishment. If near-death or life-altering injuries are a result, consequences will level up.
  3. Intention: There could be a situation where something gets out of hand, and quick actions result in an accidental injury. But if there’s proof the victim had reason to believe they were not safe before, during or after the assault, then the offender will be in hotter water.

Additionally, having a lengthy criminal record or history of assault could also lead to stiffer penalties. The factors that go into each case can lead to endless outcomes. So, if you or a loved one are facing any assault charge, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced professional to develop a defense plan that makes sense in your case.