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What could increase the severity of an assault charge?

Assault is a crime when you hurt someone physically or threaten physical harm to another person. There are varying degrees of this crime.

What degree of charge you face often depends on the situation’s circumstances. The prosecutor will consider the individuals involved, if there were outside problems that contributed and any other information that would explain what happened and why it happened when determining how to charge you. There are certain situations that could enhance your charges.

The intent involved

One aspect the prosecutor will consider is whether this was an intentional act. If you acted with intent, it will be more severe than if this was a result of reckless actions or a consequence of negligence.

People involved

Generally, if the parties are all adults, the only consideration may be if the victim is somehow vulnerable. If the victim was a child, it will impact the charges. The prosecutor will pay particular attention to victims who are somehow at a disadvantage, either due to age, mental capacity or physical ability, when deciding charges.

Weapons involved

The prosecutor will also look at whether you used any type of weapon. The use of a deadly weapon almost always will increase your charges to a more severe crime.

History involved

Prosecutors will also look at you and your past. If this situation is something you have done before, it could impact your charges.

Assault charges could grow into more severe charges if circumstances align right. Your initial charge could always increase despite what your initial charges appear to be, so be aware of this possibility.