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What should Maryland residents know about aggravated assault?

According to the latest statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, approximately 388,362 aggravated assaults occurred across the United States in 2012. This figure, of course, is not something that should be taken lightly. Whether a Maryland resident is facing charges or would like to know more about this particular criminal charge, it is always best to be informed.

What is the difference between assault and aggravated assault? Assault is defined as an unlawful attack on another person with the intent to harm. Aggravated assault, on the other hand, refers to an attack with the intention of inflicting severe bodily injury.

What are the factors that determine whether assault is aggravated or not? Aggravated assault is determined by four factors. One factor is the use of a deadly weapon, such as a gun or a knife. The second is the victim's status. A person who has a duty to help other people, such as a police officer or a teacher, can be charged with aggravated assault if he or she uses force, especially in the performance of their official duties. The third factor is the perpetrator's intent. If the perpetrator commits the assault with reckless indifference to the safety of the victim, the charge can be considered aggravated. Finally, the degree of injury, such as if the victim was permanently maimed or disfigured, will determine if the charge will be elevated.

Can aggravated assault charges lead to other criminal charges? Yes. Aggravated assault can be charged in conjunction with to other violent crimes, like homicide or murder, if the victim sustains life-threatening injuries because of the assault or dies. If authorities establish that an aggravated assault was due to the intent to steal, then robbery charges can also be filed against the accused person. Maryland residents facing aggravated assault charges should seriously consider seeking legal help if they wish to prove their innocence. At times, what seems to be a threat of violence is merely an attempt at self-defense.

Source: The Federal Bureau of Investigation,"Crime in the United States 2012," accessed Dec. 1, 2014

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Law Offices of
James N. Papirmeister, Esq.

Law Offices of James N. Papirmeister, Esq.
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As Published in Washingtonian Magazine | Washington's Best Legal Minds | 2013