Aggravated Assault Details

In most jurisdictions, an aggravated assault is a felony crime punishable by a prison sentence. The use of a deadly weapon is a key giveaway in identifying an aggravated assault. An assault can turn into an aggravated assault based on the status of the victim. If the level of injuries is severe, then we can call it a case of an aggravated assault. A severe injury is a life-threatening injury.

The intent of the perpetrator can also push an assault from simple to aggravated. This especially comes into play with hate crimes when the race, sex, or disability of a victim can influence the attack or when the intention behind the assault is to kill, rape, or rob the individual. If the assaulter acts recklessly with seemingly no care for human life, then an assault can become aggravated.

Anyone can be charged with aggravated assault if the crime fits the description, including law enforcement officers and those serving in the military. If a member of the military is found guilty of aggravated assault, they will be confined for up to eight years and dishonorably discharged.

Real World Example of Aggravated Assault

Bill Cosby is one of the most well-known figures in American entertainment. He was hugely successful as a stand-up comedian, actor, and author for over six decades. From the mid-2010s, several women started accusing Cosby of aggravated assault, sexual assault, rape, and sexual misconduct. Over 60 women came forward with their accusations against the comedian.

Following the allegations, numerous organizations and international brands cut ties with Cosby. Several titles and honors received by Cosby were revoked. Television companies stopped airing reruns of his shows on TV. Bill Cosby eventually admitted to having drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand, a 30-year-old college sports administrator. He also confessed to having used an illegal drug called sedative-hypnotic methaqualone on a series of young women before having sex with them.

The court found Cosby guilty on three counts of aggravated assault in September 2018. He is currently incarcerated in Phoenix, Pennsylvania, serving three to ten years.

Aggravated Assault vs. Simple Assault

A simple assault is an act of inflicting physical harm on an individual. Based on some legal specifications, the threat or an attempt to simple assault can also lead to criminal prosecution. According to the law's definition, police officers are told to intervene and make an arrest before the assaulter strikes the victim.

Simple assault carries a maximum punishment of six months in jail and/or a $5,000 fine. Unlike simple assault, aggravated assault is straightly indictable. Aggravated assault carries a maximum prison time of 14 years. Another type of aggravated assault is an aggravated sexual assault where the victim is seriously wounded and is in danger of dying as a result of a sexual assault. It carries a minimum prison sentence of four, five, or seven years and a maximum of life in prison.