Most people get into a physical altercation at least once in their lives. The event may have happened when they were children and were pushed by another child on the playground, or the event could have happened when they were adults. When this type of incident happens as an adult, it is more likely to result in criminal charges.
If you recently found yourself in an argument with someone else that escalated, you may have felt as if you were only defending yourself. However, authorities may still have charged you with assault. In fact, due to the circumstances, authorities believed that aggravated assault charges suited the situation.
Though you already know that assault charges are serious, understanding that aggravated assault charges are even more severe is vital. If a court convicts you of an aggravated assault charge, you could receive a sentence with long-term consequences. Of course, before your case even gets to trial, you certainly want to understand why an aggravated assault charge applied. Some reasons that give authorities cause to use this enhanced allegation include the following:
- If the victim held a particular profession, such as a police officer, teacher or firefighter, and if you knew about his or her professional status
- If authorities believe that you used a deadly weapon during the altercation, regardless of whether the weapon caused injuries
- If the event resulted in another person suffering serious bodily injury
- If authorities believe that you intended to cause severe harm or wanted someone to feel fearful of severe harm
Of course, additional details could also lead authorities to file an aggravated assault charge, which is why it is important that you understand how the altercation came about, what evidence police officers gathered and why the enhanced charge applied. This and a great deal of other information may prove vital to your case.
Defense still matters
Though you face a more serious allegation than simple assault, you still have the right to create and present a meaningful criminal defense. If you believe that you acted in self-defense, that information may play a pivotal role in your case. You may also wish to discuss other defense strategies with a New Jersey attorney in order to better understand your available legal options. Aggravated assault can greatly affect your life, and you certainly want to work toward the best outcome possible.
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