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What is Aggravated Assault?

Anyone can be a victim of assault. At the same time, assault can be perpetrated by anyone regardless of their gender, age and color. Attempted severe physical harm is a form of aggravated assault that ignores a person’s existence. Assaults categorized as aggravated typically involve a weapon, the victim’s status, the perpetrator’s intent, and the severity of the injuries caused.

According to state criminal codes, specific acts of violence are classified as aggravated assaults. Assault with a deadly weapon, for example, is a more specific term that they may use. Aggravated assaults are heinous offenses and are classified as felonies, while simple assaults are classified as misdemeanors. In many states, aggravated assault is punishable in a variety of ways. If you are a victim, try seeking help from a New Westminster criminal defense lawyer to get the legal representation you deserve.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

If someone attacks you with a deadly weapon, that can be categorized as aggravated assault. Aggravated assault occurs when someone threatens anyone with a lethal weapon because the fear involved is fear of further injury. This is true whether or not the weapon inflicts bodily harm on anyone else. To be considered an assault, the perpetrator must behave in such a way as to cause someone legitimate concern for their wellbeing.

Deadly weapons include anything that has the potential to kill or severely harm someone. Some weapons, such as guns, fit this description. Other objects may or may not be considered deadly weapons, depending on how they are used in the attack. For instance, holding a pocket knife to a victim’s neck can be lethal. If someone puts your life at risk with any weapon, that could fall into the aggravated assault category. For such cases, you can look for a criminal lawyer in New Westminster, BC, to take further legal action for your protection.

Victim’s Identity

Determining if an assault is aggravated or not takes into account several factors, and the identity of someone is one of the main ones to look at. Depending on the victim’s status, some assaults become more severe. For example, many countries recognize assaults on police officers, firefighters, and even teachers to be aggravated assaults and punish them accordingly. The victim must have been undertaking their responsibilities when assaulted. The perpetrator must have been aware of their status for an assault to be classified as aggravated.

Violence against persons of certain protected classes is punishable as aggravated assault, as well as hate crimes. Racism, ethnicity, national origin and religion are all examples of racial and ethnic-based assaults. Depending on your status, your assault can be categorized as aggravated, and you deserve compensation and protection at the very least.

Perpetrator’s Intent

The perpetrator’s state of mind can elevate a misdemeanor assault to aggravated assault. An assault could become more severe if the perpetrator acted with the intent to cause significant damage or the fear of causing severe harm. A person’s reckless behavior, for example, can be considered aggravated assault depending on the state’s laws. Assaults can be exacerbated if a dangerous or lethal weapon is used.

If someone acts without considering human life and puts the victim in danger, it quantifies to be viewed as aggravated assault, and necessary action should be taken. It does not matter whether the victim is harmed or not. If their life was at risk because of the perpetrator’s intentions to cause harm, that is aggravated assault.

The Extent of the Victim’s Injury

An assault can be elevated to a more severe punishment subject to a victim’s injuries.  Aggravated assaults are defined throughout many countries as assaults that lead to severe physical harm. The severity of a personal injury will vary from case to case, depending on the circumstances. Serious injuries include those that threaten the victim’s life or those that maim or disfigure the victim. Some states have specific laws that define what constitutes a severe injury. However, some states will punish it as aggravated assault even if the method of assault would typically result in death (or even attempted homicide).

Depending on the state, sexual assaults are involved, they might be categorized as assault/battery, sexual assault, aggravated assault or rape. If you are a victim of an assault, regardless of its extent, consider working with a Vancouver assault lawyer to determine what kind of case you are dealing with. If someone tries to harm you, taking legal action is always the best course of action to give them the punishment they deserve.

Who is at Risk of Getting Aggravated Assault?

Unfortunately, no one is exempted from being a victim of aggravated assault. Anyone can be at the receiving end of these heinous acts. However, certain risk factors can increase a person’s chances of becoming an assault or robbery victim. For instance, there is a higher possibility for males to experience aggravated assault than females at some point in their lives. Likewise, African Americans are at a higher risk of aggravated assault than any other race. Regardless, anyone can be assaulted, and what you do after the assault can make a significant difference.

What to do After Aggravated Assault

If you are the victim, there is a high possibility that you may feel confused, ashamed, helpless, angry or terrified, but that should not stop you. Luckily, with help and time, you can regain your self-confidence and feel good about yourself again. Remember, no matter what you go through, an assault is not your fault, and you do not deserve such treatment. It will help if you remember that the only person at fault is the perpetrator and should be punished for their actions.

Aggravated assault covers many circumstances, and it is in your best interest to know the facts of your situation if you want to develop a successful defense. With the help of a criminal lawyer in New Westminster, BC, you can examine the facts of your case and arrive at potential defenses. Your interests should be protected to give you peace of mind, and an attorney is your best option. If you are a victim of aggravated assault, contact us today, and we’ll help you with your particular case.