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What are aggravated assault and assault with a deadly weapon?

Facing an assault and battery charge is a serious situation. That charge can be upgraded to an aggravated assault charge if certain elements are present. Aggravated assault convictions are even more serious than simple assault and battery charges.

What is aggravated assault?

An aggravated assault is one that takes the severity of the crime into account by factoring in several aspects of the alleged criminal act. For example, if an assault occurs in the victim's home, the charge might be aggravated assault. Other factors that can lead to an enhancement to aggravated assault include the intent of the attacker, the use of a weapon, the severity of the injuries, and the status of the victim. Generally, attacks on law enforcement officers, teachers, and fire fighters that occur while the person is working can lead to aggravated assault charges.

What is assault with a deadly weapon?

Assault with a deadly weapon means that any object that might be used to kill a victim was used in the alleged attack. The deadly weapon isn't limited only to guns. In some cases, the way an object is used determines if it is a deadly weapon. For example, a small knife isn't likely to be considered a deadly weapon; however, it could be classified as a deadly weapon if it is held up to the neck or an artery of the victim.

If you are facing aggravated assault or assault with a deadly weapon charges, you should work to understand your defense strategy options. When you have learned your options, you can plan how to build your defense.

Source: FindLaw, "Aggravated Assault," accessed Dec. 23, 2015

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