What are the Charges for Aggravated Assault?
Under the common practices of American assault law, "simple" charges of assault, which do not meet the requirements for severity to merit accusations of "aggravated assault", are likely to be tried only as misdemeanors. Exceptions may, however, be made in cases involving police officers, for instance.
In most American states, on the other hand, aggravated assault can be tried as a felony. The severity with which specific cases are met by assault law is fitted to the circumstances of the action, such as the seriousness of the injuries suffered by the victim, the likely or stated effect of the attack as expressed by the actor, and the method through which the assault takes place.
An assault which is implemented with a firearm or some other weapon likely to cause serious injury to the victim, for instance, is usually considered a felony assault. The process of determining what legal fate a defendant meets under assault law, as participated in by both prosecutors and defense attorneys, thus refers to the various aspects of a case, including the context it arises from, the means used to realize it, and the consequences stemming from it.
Misdemeanors are typically punished with short terms in jails, local institutions for incarceration which are distinguished under law from prisons, the State institutions with which they are commonly conflated in everyday speech. They do not result in a loss of civil rights, as may result from felony charges, but rather a potential loss of privileges.
Common punishments related to a conviction of a misdemeanor under assault law can include such case-specific measures as the requirement to take anger management classes and thus avoid the future occurrences of violent actions. Other measures commonly mandated by courts in reference to the lesser degree of liability involved in a misdemeanor conviction can include probationary restrictions and the payment of fees as are required for court transactions, the making of reparations to victims and the imposition of fines. A conviction of a felony assault, on the other hand, will generally involve a longer term of incarceration in a State prison.
The context and specific details involved in a case of felony assault can also help determine how severely it is prosecuted and punished. Under Texas State law, for instance, aggravated law is considered a second degree felony carrying a prison term of up to twenty years, but may be elevated to a first degree charge if the assault occurred within a domestic context or was directed against a figure involved in preventing crime or providing for the operations of Government and law.