Aggravated Assault Defined
Aggravated assault is far more serious than ordinary assault and
usually involves some form of threat through a weapon, usually a
firearm. A threat may include the intent to use the weapon or the
intent to murder, injure, maim, or rape another individual.
A threat pronounced using a stick qualifies as simple assault, but a
threat pronounced using a knife or gun constitutes an aggravated
assault threat. However if the individual holding the stick proclaims
to rape or murder another, this could constitute aggravated assault.
Some legal systems do not use the term "aggravated assault," but the
charges and punishments for this type of threat are the same nationwide.
This kind of assault also includes firing a weapon at another from a
moving vehicle and the intent to rob using a firearm.
Aggravated assault can be broken down even further into three
categories: an attempt to cause serious bodily injury to another
individual, such as kidnapping; an attempt to procure sexual activity
with another individual under the age of fourteen; and an attempt that
causes another individual bodily injury by using a deadly weapon, such
as a knife, firearm, or harmful object.
Charging of Aggravated Assault
Nearly all states define assault as a felony and others define it as a
misdemeanor. In Tennessee the charge of assault is considered a Class A
Misdemeanor when a person intentionally causes bodily harm to another
or intentionally cause imminent fear of bodily injury. When a person
intentionally causes physical contact to another individual that is
found very offensive, the charges is changed to a Class B Misdemeanor.
However aggravated assault is seen differently. When a person is
intentionally seriously injured due to the use of a deadly weapon the
crime is considered a Class C Felony in Tennessee. But when a person is
injured due to the use of a deadly weapon under reckless circumstances,
the crime is changed to a Class D Felony. With both criminal
classifications, misdemeanors and felonies in the A Class carry more
serious charges than those of the C Class. This can be the difference
between thirty years in prison and five years in prison in the case of
a felony charge.
Aggravated Assault Punishments
Aggravated assault is marked as a felony in all cases, no matter the
state in which the crime was committed. All aggravated assault felonies
are punishable by restitution, fines, prison time, and community
service. Often a punishment will include more than one of these
punishments, such as community service and a fine. Some prison
sentences can be minimal and others can be lengthy, depending on the
crime committed. Depending on the state, a prison sentence can be
anywhere between one to twenty years, three to twenty years, or five to
Because aggravated assault is a high felony, individuals under suspect
are advised to consult a criminal defense attorney to discuss the
matters at hand. An attorney in a particular state will be able to
advise in which direction to follow and the possibilities at hand.