It goes without saying that a criminal charge in California will bring with it certain consequences. Those that come to us here at the Law Offices of Mark W. Fredrick typically want to know (above all else) what those consequences may be.

If you find yourself in such a situation, you likely share the same concern. In such a scenario, the exact wording of the charges against you is key. In the case of an assault charge, for example, the difference in criminal penalties between standard assault and aggravated assault can be significant.

Understanding aggravating factors

The word “aggravated” itself immediately seems to imply a heightened degree of severity. Indeed, in legal terms, that is exactly the case. While any type of unlawful force employed against another typically qualifies as assault, external factors that impact the outcome of such an alleged offense can cause it to be “aggravated.” If and when you face a charge of aggravated assault, you can almost certainly anticipate facing a more severe potential punishment.

Aggravated assault in California

Section 245 of the California Penal Code lists all of the circumstances that raise a supposed assault offense to the level of “aggravated” These include charges that you allegedly assaulted someone using a firearm (assault involving specific weapons such as a machine gun or a semiautomatic firearm net even more severe charges). A supposed assault that is likely to cause great bodily injury also nets more severe penalties. You could also face aggravated assault charges if you stand accused of assaulting a law enforcement officer of a firefighter.

You can learn more about the potential penalties that can accompany felony charges by continuing to explore our site.