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What does it mean to be charged with aggravated assault?

When you hear the phrase "aggravated assault," what do you think of? You probably imagine someone who has attacked someone, but who is also really upset while it's happening. Though that may seem comical, that would seem to be the truth if you interpreted it literally. To the contrary, aggravated assault is a charge that depends on the circumstances of the crime in question.

Aggravated assault is a charge filed against someone who has assaulted another person, and then the charge is elevated to "aggravated" depending on the circumstances and seriousness of the crime. What this means is that the intent of the offender and the status of the victim are important -- and it also means that if a weapon was involved, that the charge could be filed against the offender.

There are other circumstances to consider with aggravated assault, such as if the offense took place in someone's home. In general, aggravated assault is a charge that qualifies as a felony, whereas a simple assault is usually a misdemeanor. So you can see why aggravated assault is a very serious charge and why anyone who is accused of this crime needs to get an attorney to help them deal with the case.

It just goes to show that adding a weapon into any criminal offense is likely to increase the penalties and charges against the accused person. There is nothing to do at that point but defend your side of the case as best you can, and hopefully the penalties against you can be limited.

Source: FindLaw, "Aggravated Assault," Accessed March 6, 2015

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