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What is aggravated assault?

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Aggravated assault is a more grievous form of assault that typically results in felony charges due to its serious nature. If you are facing charges of aggravated assault, a conviction can have serious repercussions for you. 

A robust defense strategy can help you pursue the most favorable outcome in your case. 

Elements of aggravated assault

Any one of the following four things could lead to an assault charge being raised to one of aggravated assault:

  1. The mental state/intent to cause harm: This element focuses on proving that the accused either intended to cause serious harm or injury, acted in a reckless manner that disregarded the risk of harm, or showed such disregard for the safety of others that it amounted to extreme indifference.
  2. Grievous bodily injury: The prosecution must demonstrate evidence of significant physical harm inflicted upon the victim, which typically includes severe wounds, fractures, disfigurement or injuries necessitating extensive medical intervention. 
  3. Victim’s identity/vulnerability: The prosecution must show that the victim was particularly vulnerable or in a protected class, such as children, elderly individuals, disabled persons or public servants like police officers or firefighters, at the time of the assault.
  4. Use of lethal weapon: It must be demonstrated that a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument was used during the assault. This can include firearms, knives or blunt objects used with force likely to cause severe injury, or any other object used to cause serious bodily injury. This escalates the seriousness of the assault and contributes to the classification of the offense as aggravated.

When charged with aggravated assault, seek legal guidance promptly to start building a strong defense.