Aggravated Assault vs. Assault: What is the Difference?

Posted July 24th, 2021 by .

Categories: Criminal Defense.

jersey city assault lawyer anthony carbone

Assault and aggravated assault involve intentional harm from one individual to another. a physical attack may be classified as either a simple assault or an aggravated assault, depending on the specific circumstances. Even fighting can be termed as an assault regardless of where both parties mutually agreed to fight.

Due to the different interpretations of assault, battery, and aggravated assault, you need a legal expert to represent you and protect your rights when faced with such charges. Thankfully, with a  North Bergen Personal Injury Attorney, you can protect all your rights. Here is the difference between assault and aggravated assault:

Aggravated assault vs. assault

As the name suggests, aggravated assault charges are more severe than assault charges. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the key differences, including details the court will use to determine whether you are guilty.


An assault is an intentional act to cause fear or physical harm to another individual. This is why you may be charged with assault even if you only threatened but did not cause physical damage. Provided the threat caused fear and there was a potential bodily risk to the individual. Overall, assault charges are less severe as they involve actions that cause anxiety or physical harm to one party.

Aggravated assault

Although the legal definition of aggravated assault changes from state to state, there is a general definition standard in all cases. An act is classified as aggravated assault if it caused serious bodily harm or the offender used a weapon when threatening or causing physical damage.

A case where the victim was attacked and struck using an object as a weapon will automatically be classified as an aggravated assault and a felony. Words alone would not qualify as aggravated assault unless the offender used a weapon when making verbal threats.

Both charges are severe

The law will not go easy on you whether you are facing assault or aggravated assault charges. You can serve time in prison for slapping a person or domestic violence. You are at a risk of facing a maximum of 5 years for assault and a maximum of 14 years in jail for aggravated assault. Thus, it matters whether your charges are simple assault or aggravated assault. For less serious assault, you could be jailed for six months or a fine of $500.

What is the defense for assault and aggravated assault?

Like all criminal charges, these charges are allegations, and the person is innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Cases of simple assault do not necessarily require a witness and the defense is also simple as the accused only needs to raise doubts. Other defenses include:

  •       Self-defense in some instances
  •       Disputing using a weapon
  •       Disputing additional factors such as bodily harm

Work with an experienced attorney

Our expert at New Jersey is dedicated to helping you reduce the charges or dismiss them entirely. Call the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone on 201-829-3805 if you face assault or aggravated assault to discuss your case. With over 30 years of experience, the attorney will ensure your rights are protected.

Call Today! (201) 963-6000

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