Assault vs. Aggravated Assault and the Consequences of Each
An assault charge and aggravated assault are very different in intent. You will find that either charge isn’t ideal for your record, but an aggravated assault charge is much more serious.
Let’s take a look.
What Is Assault?
Assault is an unlawful attempt to cause harm to a person. The attempt does not have to result in an injury to the other party. Examples of assault in California include:
· Punching someone
· Throwing something at someone
· Grabbing someone
· Striking someone with a non-deadly weapon
Assault often happens in the heat of the moment and does not include disregard for the person’s life. For example, they throw a shoe across the room at someone. Or they use a barstool to fend someone off. The charge can be upgraded to aggravated assault if a non-lethal weapon is used in a lethal matter, such as a baseball bat.
What Is Aggravated Assault?
Aggravated assault is when there is clear intent to cause bodily harm, injury, or death to a person. When a deadly weapon is present, such as a firearm or a knife, it is always considered aggravated assault. If an injury is attempted with disregard to the human’s life, then it is aggravated assault whether a weapon is present or not.
What Are the Consequences of Aggravated Assault?
In California, aggravated assault can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the circumstance. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, it can result in:
· Community Service
· Anger Management
· Fines Up to $10,000
· Confiscation of the Weapon
· Short Jail Sentence
If the charge is more serious and upgraded to a felony, it will go as a felony on your record, contributing to California’s Three Strikes Law. The Three Strikes Law states that if you have 2 previous felony or violent crime charges on your record, you could receive an automatic 25-years-to-life in prison. However, a first-time felony charge could result in all of the penalties listed above, with a longer state prison sentence instead of jail time.
Consult a trusted lawyer for help in your aggravated assault case. It is possible to get your charges dropped or downgraded to assault. An experienced lawyer will be able to hear your story and fight for you. Let Miles & Hatcher, LLP, guide you through the process. Call to schedule a free consultation: (909) 481-4080.