Criminal Records Search

Start your FREE search
The following is for informational purposes only

Aggravated Assault

Overview

If a simple “Assault” usually results in violent threats, minor or no injuries, “Aggravated Assault”crimes as well as “Assault and Battery” involve a higher degree of seriousness, with deliberate harm inflicted on one person by another. It’s important to mention that words alone couldn’t lead to assault charges. Aggravation occurs when the assault involves:

  • Severe bodily injuries to another person;
  • The abuser uses or exhibits a dangerous object (knives, bricks, rocks) or a deadly firearm;
  • The intent to commit another felony offense such as robbery or rape;
  • The victim is a member of a protected class, such as a healthcare provider,police officer, a pregnant woman, elderly or disabled individual or social services worker.

“Serious bodily injuries” define physical harm that “creates a large risk of death or that causes death, severe permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a member or a bodily organ.” With aggravated assault, the extent of the injury is critical, for instance, even a boot could constitute a dangerous object if it’s used to inflict a grave injury or even death. Furthermore, a simple punch in a fight, which usually qualifies as “Simple Assault” can be enhanced to “Aggravated Assault” if the resulting physical injuries are life-threatening.

 

Types of Aggravated Assault

Types of Aggravated Assault

Judging by the victim and the circumstances, we have the following variations/categories, which are also some of the most common Aggravated Assault charges:

  • Aggravated Assault against a security officer
  • Aggravated Assault against a public servant
  • Aggravated Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Aggravated Assault causes bodily injury
  • Aggravated Assault against the elderly or disabled

There’s also “Battery,” when the aggressor offensively touches or physically strikes the victim without consent, in other words, battery is a “finalized assault.”

 

Degrees of Aggravated Assault

Judging by the severity of the crime, each state defines its different degrees of aggravated assault:

  • First-degree Aggravated Assault – when the cruel act is premeditated (intentional serious bodily injury);
  • Second-degree Aggravated Assault - no deliberation or premeditation;
  • Third-degree Aggravated Assault – committing significant rather than serious bodily harm; causing an explosion or a fire that results in injuries;
  • Fourth-degree Aggravated Assault – fistfights, for example.

We have to note the difference between “significant” and “serious” injuries:

  • “Significant bodily injury” – injuries that lead to a temporary loss of any one of the five senses or the function of a limb or organ.
  • “Serious bodily injury” – injuries with extended or permanent consequences and increased risk of death.

In some jurisdictions (for instance, New Jersey) a third-degree aggravated assault charge applies if someone commits a simple assault that causes bodily harm to any of the below categories while performing their job:

  • Fireman
  • School staff (teacher, bus driver, administrator)
  • Emergency medical responder
  • Cable company employee or utility worker
  • Psychiatric care or health care worker
  • Employee of the Division of Child Protection
  • Corrections or Law enforcement officer
  • Member of the judiciary
  • Bus driver or rail passenger service operator

If the simple assault on any of the above does not leave bodily injuries, the assault is a fourth-degree crime.

 

Penalties for Aggravated Assault

Penalties for Aggravated Assault

Depending on the degree of the assault, the injuries and the state where the crime took place, an Aggravated Assault can be treated as a misdemeanor or as a second-degree felony. It can be a first-degree felony in the following circumstances:

  • The victim is a public servant or a household member;
  • The act is committed in retaliation against someone who reported a crime;
  • The offender shoots a weapon from a car at another car or house and severely injures someone.

In some states, the accused is fined with an average $10,000 and has to spend up to 15 years in prison, while in other states, the average fine is between $150 and $500 and the offender is convicted to 4 to 12 months of incarceration in county jail. Either way, the repercussions usually include:

  • Jail time
  • Parole
  • Probation and electronic monitoring
  • Fines and court costs
  • Restitution payment to the victim
  • Loss of gun ownership rights
  • Compulsory participation in anger management classes

For “assault and battery,” damages could cover: pain and emotional distress; medical and mental health treatment costs; other expenses related to recovery or treatment(bandages, assistive devices, medications)and victim’s lost wages.

Criminal Records Search