Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault is an attempt to cause serious bodily injury to another or to cause serious bodily injury purposely, knowingly or recklessly, with an extreme indifference to the value of human life. Aggravated assault also occurs when a person attempts to cause or purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon.

These are the different types of aggravated assault which are:

  • Assault with a Deadly Weapon – Assault with a deadly weapon is the act of menacing another person with a weapon that could cause death. This is usually a gun, but it doesn’t need to be. This form of assault does not include the action of using force, called battery, but it often leads to assault and battery charges.
  • Sexual Assault – Sexual assault is any assault of a sexual nature on another person. What constitutes a sexual assault is determined by the laws of the jurisdiction where the assault takes place, which vary considerably, and are influenced by local social and cultural attitudes.
  • Malicious Assault – Malicious assault is committed when any person maliciously shoots, stabs, cuts or wounds or by some other means causes bodily injury to another with the intent to kill or permanently maim, disfigure or disable the other person.

A defendant convicted of aggravated assault can receive a prison sentence or probation, as well as be fined. In New York, a prison sentence for aggravated assault is an “indeterminate” sentence. A judge has the ability to set a range within both the minimum and maximum terms for this type of sentence. For example, the maximum term for a conviction must be at least three years and can be up to 25 years.

Being charged with aggravated assault is a severe matter. It’s important to consult with an attorney who has knowledge of the assault laws and penalties applicable in your case and within the state. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney may be able to convince either a prosecutor or a jury that a defendant either did not intend to cause an injury or at least did not cause a serious enough injury to merit a charge of felony assault. That could result in lesser punishment or even dismissal of a case.

The federal government and the state government view aggravated assault similar and the crime is charged in the same fashion. The charge does carry a different name in different states though called felonious assault which is defined as aggravated assault.

In February 2014, former NFL running back Ray Rice was charged with third degree aggravated assault stemming from a punch he threw striking his then fiancé in the face knocking her out. The entire incident was caught on camera and was released by TMZ within a few days. The video showcased an intoxicated Ray Rice dragging his fiancé from the elevator. To avoid jail time, he was accepted and completed a pretrial intervention program that will last a year. Once completed, the charges against him will be dropped.

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