Aggravated Assault

What is Aggravated Assault?

An charge of aggravated assault is a felony charge.  The definition of the felony charge of aggravate assault assumes the definition of the misdemeanor charge of simple assault.  It is the aggravating factors that makes an assault a felony.  According to Idaho law, an assault becomes an aggravated assault under 3 circumstances.

The first way an assault becomes an aggravated assault is when the assault is committed with a “deadly weapon or instrument. . .”.  Idaho Code § 18-905(a).  A deadly weapon includes firearms, even if those firearms are unloaded or inoperable.  See Idaho Code § 18-905(d).

The second way an assault becomes an aggravated assault is when the assault is committed by “any means or force likely to produce great bodily harm.”  Idaho Code § 18-905(c).  What differentiates an aggravated assault here from a misdemeanor assault is the degree of injury likely to be produced.  If you attempt to punch someone in the gut with your fist, then you are probably going to be charged with a misdemeanor assault.  However if you attempt to hit someone with your car, then you are likely to be charged with an aggravated assault.

Finally, the third, and probably least likely way that you will be charged with an aggravated assault is if the assault is commuted with any “vitriol, corrosive acid, or caustic chemical of any kind.”  In other words, if you try to assault someone with acid, you could be charge with aggravated assault.  Clearly of the least common ways to be charged with an aggravated assault.

What can happen to me if I’m found guilty of Aggravated Assault?

If you plead guilty to, or are found guilty of aggravated assault, you could be fined up to $5,000 and be imprisoned in the State Prison for up to 5 years.  Additionally, you would lose many of your civil liberties, such as your right to keep and bear firearms, your right to vote, your right to hold public office, your right to sit on a jury, among other rights.  If you are placed on felony supervised probation, you would probably lose your fourth amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.  What that means is the police could search you, your car, your house, your belongings, any time they want.  They would not need a warrant, and they would not even need probable cause.  Your ability find employment would likely be hindered by a felony conviction.

What can I do?  What are my rights?

Common defenses to the charge of aggravated battery include self defense, defense of others, defense of property, and consent of the alleged victim, among other defenses.

It must always be remembered that the State must prove each and every element of the charge of aggravated assault beyond a reasonable doubt.  If the state fails to prove just one of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, then the Jury has no choice but to find you not guilty of the charge of misdemeanor assault.  You have a right to a jury trial.  You have a right to confront your accusers.  You have a call your own witnesses, and even subpoena reluctant witnesses to appear in court.  You will not be required to testify yourself.  You have a right to remain silent throughout the entire proceeding.  The jury will be instructed by the judge that they are not to speculate or form any conclusions as to why you may have chosen not to take the stand.  Of course you also have a right to speak if you wish, and tell the jury your side of the story.

As your attorney I will of course be given an opportunity prior to trial to present your evidence and arguments to the prosecuting attorney, in an attempt to resolve your case with the prosecutor.  These resolutions can include reduced charges, reduced penalties, and even dismissals.  Of course the decision whether to accept any resolution is ultimately up to you.

I will also be given access to every piece of evidence that the state is going to present at trial.  Under certain circumstances I will make motions to the court to order the evidence to be held inadmissible.  This means that should the court rule in my favor, the state would not be allowed to use that evidence at trial.

What should I do?

Call me today and schedule a free consultation.  (208) 571-0627.  My staff will make sure that you are sitting in my office within 24 hours.  Do not wait to call.  The court sets certain deadlines, and your odds of success could be severely hampered should you miss those deadlines.  If you merely have an inquiry, then please email me.  My email address is craig@craigatkinsonlaw.com.  Or submit an online inquiry through this webpage.