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What Determines That a Case is Aggravated Assault? Criminal lawyers Charlotte NC law firms have help with many criminal case types, including murder, embezzlement, and DUI. In a simple assault scenario, the offender need not cause physical harm, according to criminal law in most states, but they must have behaved in a manner devised to place the plaintiff in sensible fear of immediate harm. But aggravated assault is a more severe crime and is determined based on factors such as below: Assault With a Lethal Weapon When a deadly weapon is utilized during assault, aggravated assault is being committed. Additionally, an attacker that uses a lethal weapon to threaten the safety of another is also committing aggravated assault. In all criminal scenarios involving aggravated assault, a lethal weapon is that object that may be deployed to kill or cause extreme physical trauma. For example, a gun may be the lethal object in aggravated assault, even if it’s not used to kill.
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The Status of the Victim
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In some circumstances, the status of the victim could have an assault charge upgraded to aggravated assault. An example is determination of aggravated assault if the victim is a police officer or fire fighter according to certain state laws. For such a charge of aggravated assault to make sense, the victim must have been in the line of duty during the attack in question, and the offender must have known of the victim’s official identity. Conduct of the Perpetrator The demeanor of the offender during assault may offer a hint of their actual intent, potentially resulting in change of simple assault to aggravated assault. Demeanor that’s typical of the intention to severely hurt or cause fear of severe harm could have assault changing to aggravated assault. No matter the perpetrator’s real intention, careless acts can also potentially result in aggravated assault, though. A good example is if the perpetrator behaves with careless indifference to human life, including if they never intended to cause anyone harm. When the specific situation involves a deadly weapon, there’s a case of aggravated assault, with or without the intent to hurt. Degree of Injury to the Plaintiff A higher degree of serious injuries to the victim can determine the case to be aggravated assault. Still, majority of states hold severe bodily injury to be aggravated assault. When an injury is potentially fatal, it is held as serious, and so is any other that mutilates or dismembers the victim. All this depends on specific state laws and their respective interpretations. A criminal defense attorney in Charlotte NC can provide a detailed scrutiny of the facts to your case to help establish a successful defense, considering that aggravated assault entails a wide spectrum of circumstances.