Are you or is someone you love facing a charge for aggravated assault? If so, you may not understand why the charge was listed that way instead of as just an assault charge.
A charge of aggravated assault is depending on other factors rather than just an intent to injure someone or a minor injury to someone. Those other factors might include:
— The use of a weapon during the assault. Some items might be considered a weapon because of the way that they were used, such as pocketknife, a rock or a vehicle.
— Who the victim is. For example, an assault on a law enforcement officer or an assault as part of a hate crime might be classified as an aggravated assault.
— The intent of the offender. If law enforcement feels that the intent of the offender was to inflict serious bodily harm or worse, then the charge could be raised to aggravated assault.
— How seriously the victim was injured. Assaults involving serious injuries, disfigurement or death are usually classified as aggravated assaults.
In Maryland, an aggravated assault is known as a first-degree assault or second-degree assault. Both are felonies. A second-degree assault charge carries a possible prison sentence of up to 10 years. A first-degree assault charge carries a possible prison sentence of up to 25 years.
Because of the possible penalties with these violent crime charges, it is important to begin developing a defense as soon as possible after an arrest. An experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney can work with you to determine what defense is viable in your case.
Source: FindLaw, “Aggravated Assault” Nov. 16, 2014