3 Questions About Aggravated Assault Charges

Are you facing an aggravated assault charge that you feel is unfair? If so, you'll likely want to know what you can do to fight it. Here are some questions you're likely to have about your aggravated assault charge. 

Why Does The Person's Protected Class Status Change The Charge?

One thing to be aware of is that there is a difference between simple assault and aggravated assault. A simple assault charge can be something as simple as pushing someone or threatening them with violence. However, simple assault charges can be bumped up to aggravated assault if that person is part of a protected class. This is the difference between your charge going from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Some protected classes include race, religion, age, sex, and pregnancy. Of course, laws for who is in a protected class will vary by each state, so make sure you are familiar with your local laws if you are wondering why a simple assault was actually considered aggravated assault. 

Does The Type Of Injury Matter?

Know that the extent of someone's injury can also bump a simple assault charge to aggravated assault. Once again each state has its own laws regarding what type of injury will result in the degree of aggravated assault. A more significant injury will result in more serious charges being brought against you, potentially leading to longer jail time. For example, punching somebody and causing some bruising will be less serious than if you broke someone's arm. 

How Do You Fight The Charge?

The key to fighting an aggravated assault charge is being able to justify your actions, with the best reason being self-defense. You will need to prove that you were somehow under duress with there being a threat of immediate danger. Someone may have been going to attack you, and that the harm that you were potentially facing was greater than the damage you caused by attacking the other person. 

Another way to defend yourself is if the violence you committed against the other person was conditional. This is often the case when you warn somebody to stay away from you or you are going to take action against them with violence. You'll need to somehow prove that you gave this condition, usually with witnesses that saw it happen. Otherwise, it will be your word against the victim to determine if there was a conditional threat that caused you to take action. 

Contact a local aggravated assault lawyer to learn more.