What is Considered to Be Aggravated Assault?
Crimes that involve an attempt to inflict major bodily harm to another person can be classified as aggravated assault. Robbing, murdering, raping or assault with a deadly weapon or firearm can all categorized as aggravated assault.
What Is The Difference Between Assault and Aggravated Assault?
Aggravated assault is considered to be a more severe and dangerous version of assault.
Regular assault is described as an unlawful attempt to commit a violent injury upon another person. An assault becomes an aggravated assault if the person committing the crime has clear intent to inflict serious bodily harm to another person.
Attempting to punch someone would be considered regular assault because it does not involve a deadly weapon. Whereas attempting to stab someone with a knife would be considered aggravated assault. Shooting towards someone or even pointing a gun at someone would also be considered aggravated assault.
Additionally, it is important to note that a use of a weapon is not necessary for an assault to be considered aggravated assault. Punching someone until you break their bones would also be categorized as aggravated assault.
Generally, any form of assault that may put the victim’s life in danger could be considered aggravated assault.
Some Types of Aggravated Assault
- Penal Code 245a1 – Assault with a deadly weapon.
- Penal Code 245a2 – Assault with a firearm.
- Penal Code 245a4 – Assault by means likely to cause great bodily injury.
Penalties for Aggravated Assault in California
In most cases, aggravated assault a wobbler offense. Therefore, it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony.
Penalties for Misdemeanor Aggravated Assault in California
A misdemeanor aggravated assault charge is punishable with the following:
- Up to 1 year in county jail.
- A fine of up to $10,000
- Community Service
- Anger Management
Penalties for Felony Aggravated Assault in California
A felony aggravated assault charge is punishable with the following:
- Up to four years in prison.
- All of the penalties described in misdemeanor charges.
If the person being charged already has 2 strikes, felony aggravated assault can also result in an automatic sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
Defenses for Aggravated Assault in California
There are various defenses for aggravated assault in California. Prosecution of aggravated assault bears the burden of proof.
A Los Angeles criminal defense attorney such as RJ Manuelian may be able to help you get your charges dropped by proving your innocence. This can be done with using one or more of the following arguments.
- Self Defense or Defense of Others – All humans have the right to defend themselves or others around them. If the person being charged for aggravated assault was acting in self defense or in defense of others, this argument can be made in court in order to help drop the charges..
- No Intent to Inflict Bodily Harm – If the person being charged with aggravated assault had no intent to inflict bodily harm on the victim, this can be used as an argument to help drop charges. For example, if the bodily harm was caused by accident, that would mean that the person being charged had no intent to cause the bodily harm. This would be grounds for dismissal.
- No Assault Was Committed / False Accusation – If someone did not commit an assault then they should not be convicted of aggravated assault. It is always a defense for the defendant to show that there was no assault. It may also be possible that the defendant is being falsely accused and mistaken for someone else. The prosecution holds the burden of proof therefore they must prove that the aggravated assault was committed by the defendant. If there is no hard evidence that the defendant committed the crime, that is grounds for dismissal.
When it comes to serious criminal charges such as aggravated assault, it is not suggested to try and argue defenses without the representation of an attorney. An experienced attorney would highly increase the chances of getting aggravated assault charges dismissed.