In Virginia, it is illegal to touch people without their consent, to cause bodily harm to another or to make them fear for their own physical safety. You could face assault charges if you cause bodily injury to someone, offend them through physical touch or cause them fear of imminent harm because of your words or actions.
Assault charges on their own are a major concern, but the penalties you face can become more serious if the state charges you with a form of aggravated assault. When does an act of aggression change from simple assault to aggravated assault?
What constitutes reckless aggravated assault?
In situations where someone displays or uses a deadly weapon and causes serious bodily injury or death, the state could charge them with reckless aggravated assault. Even if they did not have the intention to harm the other person, the combination of the presence of a weapon and the consequences of their actions can lead to enhanced charges.
When violence becomes intentional aggravated assault
Intentional aggravated assault is notably more serious than simple assault or reckless aggravated assault because it involves the intent to cause great harm.
If the prosecutor charges you with intentional aggravated assault, they believe that you meant to cause severe injury or death to another through an act of assault. Typically, there needs to be intent, as well as either the presence of a deadly weapon or an act of strangulation for charges to become intentional aggravated assault.
Understanding the different categories of assault is an important step when planning your defense against Tennessee assault charges.