The circumstances can vary widely in cases involving aggravated assault in Mississippi. Since no two situations are the same, it’s important to speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney after an arrest. In cases of aggravated assault, depending on the circumstances, you could be facing decades behind bars. These charges aren’t typically reserved for simple altercations or fights that result in a few scrapes or bruises. An aggravated assault charge happens when weapons are present or when non-weapon objects are used as weapons, or when serious bodily injury has occurred. Whether you’re facing a misdemeanor simple assault, felony aggravated assault or variety of other charges, speaking with a lawyer needs to be your top priority.
Aggravated assault can be found in the Mississippi Code at §97-7-3 and is defined as follows:
A person is guilty of aggravated assault if he (a) attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another, or causes such injury purposely, knowingly or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life; or (b) attempts to cause or purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon or other means likely to produce death or serious bodily harm.
To understand what an aggravated assault charge is, we must first understand what a simple charge of assault is. The elements of simple assault can also be found at §97-3-7 of the Mississippi Code. At its very roots, assault is a crime that involves unlawful, unwanted physical contact that causes harm. It is the use of force against another person that results in harm. Cases of simple assault typically involve relatively minor injuries like bruises or scrapes. Simple assault cases rarely involve the use of weapons. Depending upon the circumstances of the situation, this relatively simple charge can be upgraded to aggravated assault and additional charges can be tacked on. Listed below are just a few examples of simple assault.
Examples of Simple Assault
- Slapping somebody
- Minor fisticuffs
- Pulling someone’s hair
- Grabbing somebody
- Shoving another person
What Makes Assault Aggravated?
This is the million-dollar question. This is the question that can upgrade your sentence from six months to 20 years. What makes a particular case of assault aggravated? The answer really depends on the situation. Adding a weapon to the mix is a sure way to get an upgraded charge of aggravated assault. Certainly, using a gun is an obvious way to get slapped with aggravated assault, but what about fights that leave victims unconscious? Even when weapons or traditional weapons aren’t involved, a variety of situations can still involve aggravated assault charges. Your own fists can be considered deadly weapons in some situations.
Examples of Aggravated Assault
- Shooting somebody
- Stabbing somebody
- Beating another person very badly, even if a weapon isn’t present
- Using any kind of ordinary object to beat somebody with
- Using your car as a weapon
- Trying to choke somebody with a rope
- Using a stick or bat to hit somebody with
“Assault and Battery”
In the past, assault was usually reserved for the crime of making somebody feel threatened. Assault was typically charged if the victim had reason to feel a real threat to their personal safety due to the actions of another. This is an important time to bring up the additional charges that can accompany aggravated assault. We’re so used to hearing “assault and battery,” it’s almost difficult to imagine one without the other.
When Weapons are Involved
When weapons are involved, cases get complicated, quick. The charges start stacking up and the potential sentences get harsher. Using a firearm in an aggravated assault can quickly escalate charges and sentences. If you used a gun, rifle or other type of firearm in the assault, you could be facing a minimum of five years in a Mississippi State prison. That’s just the start too. Prosecutors and law enforcement officers are going to try to slap every possible charge on you that they can.
How Much Prison Time Could I Get?
Since aggravated assault is typically a felony, you’re looking at one-year minimum of incarceration. In especially violent or egregious cases, you could be looking at over 20 years. Every case is different, so you need to speak with your attorney to ensure the best possible outcome for your particular case. Even first time offenders can go to prison. Suspended sentences and probation aren’t always available options, especially if weapons were involved. Your lawyer may be able to get your charge reduced or thrown out all together, so there is hope.
What to do After an Arrest
After an arrest, your only priority needs to be speaking with a competent, skilled, proven, criminal defense attorney. You need a lawyer who is totally dedicated to your freedom. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault, contact the skilled legal team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC today to get the ball rolling on your defense.
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