Course: Introduction / Criminal Law
An aggravated assault is an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury.
Source: FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports
An aggravated assault is one of the most serious forms of assault that can occur, and it involves an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. The definition of an aggravated assault can vary from state to state, but generally, it involves a deliberate and intentional act of violence that causes serious bodily harm or injury to the victim. This type of assault is considered a felony in most jurisdictions, and it carries severe penalties, including long-term imprisonment, heavy fines, and a criminal record that can follow a person for the rest of their life.
The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, which is administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), defines an aggravated assault as an unlawful attack or attempted attack upon another person with the intent to cause serious bodily harm or injury. The UCR Program collects crime statistics from law enforcement agencies across the United States, and it is used to track crime trends and inform policy decisions related to law enforcement.
In order for an assault to be considered aggravated, there are several factors that must be present. First and foremost, the attack must be intentional and deliberate. This means that the perpetrator must have intended to cause harm or injury to the victim, and the attack cannot be accidental or unintentional. Second, the attack must result in serious bodily harm or injury to the victim. This can include injuries such as broken bones, severe cuts or bruises, or other types of injuries that require medical attention. Third, the attack must involve the use of a deadly weapon or some other type of weapon that can cause serious bodily harm or injury. This can include firearms, knives, or other types of weapons that can cause serious injury or death.
The UCR Program categorizes aggravated assaults into two broad categories: those that involve a weapon and those that do not. Aggravated assaults that involve a weapon are often considered more serious than those that do not, and they carry steeper penalties. This is because the use of a weapon during an assault significantly increases the risk of serious bodily harm or injury to the victim. Examples of weapons that are commonly used in aggravated assaults include firearms, knives, and blunt objects such as baseball bats or crowbars.
In addition to the use of a weapon, there are other factors that can contribute to an assault being classified as aggravated. For example, if the assault is committed against a law enforcement officer or other public officials, it may be considered aggravated due to the victim’s status as a public servant. Similarly, if the victim is a child, an elderly person, or someone with a disability, the assault may be considered aggravated due to the victim’s vulnerability.
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- FBI. Uniform Crime Reports.
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Last Modified: 04/06/2023