Most people are surprised to learn that they can be charged with misdemeanor assault, or “simple assault,” even when there are very minimal or no injuries at all. Very simple and minor injuries such as scrapes or bruises can still result in assault charges. In some cases, the same charges can be based on threats of physical harm without any actual physical contact.
Basically, misdemeanor assault charges can arise from any unwelcome touching of another person whether or not it causes physical injury. Simple Assault is the least serious form of assault and typically results in limited injuries or threat of violence.
Aggravated Assault charges on the other hand, involve circumstances that make the crime more serious. Here are some examples of Aggravated Assault:
- Striking or threatening to strike a person with a weapon or dangerous object
- Use of a firearm – either shooting someone or threatening to shoot or kill someone while pointing a gun at them
- Assault with the intent to commit another felony crime such as rape or robbery
- Any assault that results in serious physical injury to someone else
- Any assault against a member of a protected class, such as a police officer, healthcare provider, social services worker or disabled or elderly person
At anytime, when a person uses a deadly weapon to threaten another person, they can be charged with felony aggravated assault. If an object can cause death or great bodily harm, it is considered a deadly weapon. Of course, guns and knives are considered deadly weapons, but other objects such as rocks, bricks or even a boot can also constitute a deadly weapon if the object is used in a manner likely to cause serious injury or death.
There are even some cases where a simple assault charge, such as a punch in a fight, can be elevated to aggravated assault based on the severity of the physical injury caused to the victim. Serious physical injury, including risk of death, serious impairment of health or permanent disfigurement can be a factor in a suspect being charged with aggravated assault.
Because of the seriousness of these crimes and the severe penalties and punishments typically associated with them, it’s very important that you work with an experienced attorney when facing any kind of assault charges. Contact Mesa Assault Lawyer Charlie Naegle for a free consultation. His knowledge of the law and relationships with prosecutors and judges can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.