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What can impact the seriousness of an assault charge?

Assault occurs when you cause physical harm to someone else. It may also involve threatening to cause harm without any actual physical contact.

There are three degrees of assault in Alaska. The type of charge you face will depend on various factors. The higher or more serious degree of assault applies when you cause serious physical harm. It is possible for the prosecutor to enhance a charge or to change it to a more severe crime if the victim suffers additional health issues or dies as a result of the assault.

Physical harm

The most important factor is how much you hurt the other person. Minor injuries or threats with no injuries will be less severe than if you put the person in the hospital or cause very serious injuries that put the person’s life in danger.

Conditions of the assault

The conditions existing when the assault occurred will also play into the degree of your charge. Whether you used a weapon or some other type of instrument will increase charges if you did. If this is a repeat incident, that will affect the charges. If you have a history with the victim of threats or intimidation, it can increase the charge. The age of the victim is also important. The very young and very old have additional protections under the law, which could alter your charges.

Assault in general is a lower-level crime, but it is very possible that the different factors in your case will increase your charges to a more serious situation.