Simple Assault vs. Aggravated Assault
Wyoming law classifies different types of assault by the type and severity of the injury, the victim or victims, and other circumstances specific to each case. Most assaults fall into two categories: simple assault and aggravated assault.
Simple assault is a misdemeanor offense and carries less severe punishments. Aggravated assaults are felonies and carry more severe punishments.
What Is the Difference Between Simple and Aggravated Assault?
A person may be charged with simple assault if he or she attempts to cause bodily injury to another. Proving a simple assault charge does not require showing that the victim was actually injured. You can be charged with simple assault even if you never touch the other person.
A simple assault conviction can include fines up to $750 and will appear as a misdemeanor on your criminal record.
Aggravated assaults qualify as felonies under Wyoming law and can include severe punishments and other consequences. Similar to simple assault, a person does not actually have to injure someone else to be charged with aggravated assault.
The main difference between a simple assault and aggravated assault charge is the severity of the bodily injury. If a person attempts to cause or causes serious bodily injury to another, they may face aggravated assault charges. Acts or behaviors that demonstrate a disregard for the value of human life meet the requirements for aggravated assault.
Wyoming law considers aggravated assault charges in several other circumstances:
- Using a deadly weapon to cause or threaten serious bodily harm;
- Threatening to use a drawn weapon, such as a gun, to cause serious bodily injury; and
- Seriously injuring a pregnant woman a person knows to be pregnant.
The type of assault charge depends on the circumstances and facts of each case. Even a fistfight may result in aggravated assault charges based on the severity of the injuries. Additionally, everyday items such as a bottle, rock, or stick may be considered weapons if used to hurt or attempt to seriously hurt another person.
Penalties for aggravated assault usually depend on the severity of the injuries, the identities of each person involved, and other circumstantial factors. An aggravated assault conviction may impose a punishment of up to ten years in prison for serious offenses.
Do I Need A Lawyer for an Assault Charge?
Any assault charge, either simple or aggravated, can have a huge impact on your life. Aggravated assault charges, in particular, can have serious consequences. If convicted of aggravated assault, you may face up to 10 years in prison and a felony conviction on your record. Felony convictions can affect your employment, child custody, housing, and your ability to vote.
If you or someone you know is facing criminal assault charges, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. He or she will thoroughly investigate your case and provide you with the best legal defenses and options available.
Some common defenses to assault charges include:
- Defense of others,
- Defense of property, or
- Lack of intent to cause serious bodily injury.
Building a successful legal defense and presenting it in court is a challenging and complicated process. A skilled lawyer knows what information and evidence you will need to create an effective defense. Your lawyer will gather this evidence, negotiate with prosecutors and the court on your behalf, and represent you in court if your case goes to trial.
Call A Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you or someone you know is facing assault charges, contact our offices or fill out an online form today. The dedicated team of professionals at the Platte River Injury Law firm will support you throughout this difficult process. Our attorney Jeremy Hugus has extensive experience defending clients against criminal assault charges.
He has a proven history of success and works tirelessly to protect his clients’ legal rights. Our entire team cares deeply about our clients and will make sure you receive the support and legal advice you need each step of the way.
Call our offices or fill out an online form today.