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What is aggravated assault?

Assault charges in Georgia are not all the same. Aggravated assault is a more serious crime than simple assault. The latter may be no more than a misdemeanor, while the former often qualifies as a felony. 

According to FindLaw, there are a number of different factors that raise an assault to the aggravated level by increasing the severity of the crime. Some of these factors pertain to the victim: specifically, the seriousness of any injuries received, as well as the victim’s status. Certain classes of the citizenry have a special status, and you are more likely to face an aggravated assault charge if, for example, authorities believe that you committed an assault against a civil servant, such as a firefighter or a police officer.

Furthermore, you could face charges of not only aggravated assault but a hate crime if it appears that you targeted an alleged victim on the basis of a protected status such as religion, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation, actual or perceived. 

Your state of mind during the alleged assault also pertains to the type of charges you may face. You may incur aggravated assault charges if authorities believe that you acted with intent to cause severe harm or to evoke fear of severe harm in a victim. Aggravated assault charges can also result from the use of a weapon deemed to be dangerous or deadly, regardless of whether or not your intent was specifically to cause serious harm. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.