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Simple and aggravated assault: What’s the difference?

On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2023 | Criminal Defense

In the state of Tennessee, you can be charged with one of the above two types of assault. They each have their own definition and consequently, they also each come with their own penalties.

If you or a loved one has been charged with either offense, you’ll no doubt be concerned about what they’re facing and what’s going to happen next. Below is a little more explanation of what each one means.

Simple assault

A simple assault is described as occurring where someone intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person or gives them sufficient reason to fear imminent bodily injury. The injury caused is generally minor in nature which is why it is treated as a Class A misdemeanor. It is punishable by a period of jail time and a fine not exceeding $15,000.

Aggravated assault

Aggravated assault is more serious than simple assault. A person commits aggravated assault if they intentionally or knowingly commit an assault that causes serious bodily injury or the death of another individual or they had a deadly weapon or used/threatened strangulation. Aggravated assault is generally treated as a Class C felony which carries a period of imprisonment between three and fifteen years and a maximum $15,000 fine.

Being charged with one of the above offenses can hold serious consequences. Tennessee offers alternatives to prison sentences in assault cases where it is considered appropriate to do so. Working with a legal professional is important in putting forward your defense and mitigation in these cases.