Aggravated assault is a threat or an act of inflicting physical harm to a person with disregard of human life.
Depending on the seriousness of the attack, different states classify specific assault as Aggravate under their criminal codes. However, nearly all aggravated assaults qualify as felonies, while simple assault can be demeanors.
Here are common factors that qualify and assault to be Aggravated:
Using a deadly weapon to assault a person constitutes aggravated assault. This holds regardless of the weapon causing physical injuries or not.
Basic assault does not require physical harm. Instead, the perpetrator behaves in a way intended to put someone in reasonable fear for their safety. But someone who threatens a person with a deadly weapon commits aggravated assault because the fear involved is fear of more grievous injury.
The class of deadly weapon includes things that could cause death or severe injury like a gun. Other objects can constitute deadly weapon depending on how a perpetrator uses it during the assault.
For instance, a pocket knife is usually is not considered as a lethal weapon, but when the perpetrator holds it on a victim’s neck, it could be deadly.
Some assault becomes aggravated, depending on the victims’ status.
For instance, states punish assault on police officers, firefighters, and even teachers as aggravated assault. However, for such assault to reach the aggravated level, the defendant must be executing his/her duty during the assault. At the same time, the perpetrator must have known of the victim’s status.
Beside aggravated assault charges, assault on members of certain protected classes can constitute hate crimes. This includes assault based on the nation’s origin, disability of the victim, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion listed on Virginia code § 18.2-57:
The mental state of the perpetrator can push an assault from simple assault to aggravated. If he or she had the intention to cause severe harm or fear of severe injury, an assault could advance to Aggravated.
What’s more, depending on the state, careless behavior can also constitute aggravated assault. For instance, when a person acts with reckless unconcern to human life, but without the specific intent to injure.
More severe injuries to the victim can cause an assault to become an aggravated level.
In many states, assaults causing severe physical injury qualify as aggravated assault. The seriousness of an injury will vary significantly from case to case. Injuries that can cause death, and those which maim or disfigure the victim qualify as serious injury.
On the flip side, sexual assaults usually qualify as their type of assault and battery, but, depending on the state, it could be charged as assault/battery, sexual assault, aggravated assault, or rape.
Aggravated assault entails a wide range of circumstances, a thorough examination of the facts of your case is critical in developing a successful defense. A reputable local attorney can help explain the details of local assault statues and execute the facts of your case for potential defense.
If you’re in Northern Virginia and looking for one of the best Aggravated Assault attorneys in Fairfax VA, Jad Sarsour Criminal defense lawyer can help you build a defense that’s capable of fighting for your rights.