You may not consider yourself a particularly violent person. You may not even feel like a hothead who loses your temper far too often. Still, anyone could find him or herself in a difficult predicament in which tempers flare and an altercation escalates more quickly than expected.
If the situation goes too far and someone calls the police, criminal charges could result. While you never anticipated having allegations brought against you, you could now face the serious ordeal of having to defend against aggravated assault charges. Still, you may wonder: why was an enhanced charge applied to your case?
What constitutes aggravated assault?
Like many criminal charges, assault has varying levels of severity. Aggravated assault is the enhanced allegation and is more serious than simple assault. For this type of allegation to apply, the situation must have had elements that made it more serious than an event in which a simple assault charge would have sufficed. Some elements that may lead to an aggravated charge include the following:
- Your intent: If authorities believe that you intended to harm another person or of at least causing another person to fear that you could cause severe harm, authorities typically consider this reckless behavior deserving of an aggravated charge.
- Weapon involvement: If the altercation involved the use of a deadly weapon or the use of a weapon in a potentially deadly manner, you could face an aggravated assault charge.
- Other person's profession: If the event involved a firefighter, police officer, teacher or person in another highly respected profession, you could face an enhanced charge. However, you would have had to know his or her profession at the time.
- Injuries suffered: Though injuries are not required in order for there to be assault charges, if another person suffered serious injuries as a result of the altercation, authorities could charge you with an enhanced allegation.
What can you do?
Fortunately, you do have the ability to present a criminal defense against the allegations brought against you. Aggravated assault is a serious crime that could come with severe consequences if a court convicts you. Therefore, you may find it in your best interests to obtain information from local Alabama legal resources regarding your possible defense options.