The presence of aggravated assault laws in the legal system of the United States and other nations is intended to give prosecutors the ability to identify cases deemed especially egregious in the manner in which they occur and to punish the responsible party accordingly. Either the intended end of an act of assault or the method with which it is accomplished may be used by prosecutors to argue that a case meets the definition of aggravated assault.
The difference between aggravated assault cases and straightforward assault cases, referred to for the purposes of clarification as "simple" assault, is that the former manifests the intention or causes the effect of serious bodily injury. A common way in which this severity may be determined is through the presence of a weapon, such as a firearm, capable of inflicting fatal or serious injuries.
An act of aggravated assault may be pursued by prosecutors as either a felony or a misdemeanor, but every American State has statutes allowing for aggravated assault charges to be pursued as felonies.
The kinds of punishments imposed as a result of a felony or misdemeanor conviction for aggravated assault also vary. Less severe cases may be punished with the loss of privileges, such as a driver’s license, but not of basic civil rights. Other requirements that may be imposed in the form of attendance of anger management classes or providing community services. Serious felony convictions are likely to lead to prison terms.
Aggravated Assault: Definition: Instances of assault meet the definition for aggravated assault, an unusually severe kind of attack, in the instance that the means through which they are accomplished or the evident intent of the attacker are likely to have caused serious physical harm. Aggravated assault is often conflated with "assault with a deadly weapon," as, for instance, in the jurisdiction of California.
The heightened seriousness of the aggravated assault definition generally implies that harsher legal penalties can also be expected. Commonly the decision to classify an attack as aggravated means that it will be pursued as a felony. Every American State, for instance, has a statute on the books for trying aggravated assaults as a felony. Other legal systems, notably Great Britain and Canada, have a wide range of classifications for instances of aggravated assault.
Difference between Assault and Aggravated Assault:
The understanding of what constitutes assault under most legal systems is necessarily inclusive so as to enable prosecutors to address a wide variety of cases, from cases of physical molestation to injurious and violent attacks. A basic distinction is commonly drawn between "simple" assault, which is offensive and unwanted but not likely to result in serious injury, and aggravated assaults, which demand more serious legal reprisals for attempting to effect dramatic physical injury.
The former is commonly tried as a misdemeanor, and the latter as a felony. Simple assaults may also involve a lesser degree of intent on the defendant's part, as in the case of the reckless discharging of a weapon without the conscious intent to cause injury but without taking steps to prevent such an occurrence