Being charged with assault is a serious charge because it is considered a violent crime. If you are convicted, you might find that it is difficult to get a job, find a place to live or even find a program that will let you volunteer because of the violent conviction on your criminal record. While being charged with assault is bad, being charged with aggravated assault is even worse.
Aggravated assault is akin to an enhanced assault charge because it means there were very serious factors that played a part in the assault. There are several reasons why an assault might be classified as an aggravated assault. If any of those factors are present, the upgraded charge is possible.
Some of the circumstances that might lead to an aggravated assault charge include the use of a weapon, the location of the assault, the status of the person who was allegedly assaulted and the intent of the attacker. Generally, assaults on teachers, firefighters, police officers and other similar professionals might be classified as aggravated assaults if they occurred while the person was on duty.
If the assault caused serious injuries, it might be upgraded to an aggravated assault. Hate crimes might also be classified as aggravated assaults.
While assault is generally a misdemeanor, aggravated assault charges are usually felony charges. That means that if you are facing aggravated assault charges, you need to get started on a defense right away because you are facing serious penalties. It is critical that you explore all the options you have throughout your case.
Source: FindLaw, "Aggravated Assault," accessed Dec. 18, 2015