In a recently released report by the FBI, Oklahoma criminal offenses seem to be on the rise. Violent crime went from 3,800 incidents to 4,500 incidents in just one year.
Aggravated assaults have slowly increased over the past few years. Local law enforcement isn’t sure if there truly is a rise in crime or simply a rise in reported crime. Investigators believe that victims may have started to feel more empowered to report the assault in recent years.
What constitutes an aggravated assault charge?
Aggravated assaults usually result in felony charges. This means that the consequences for this type of charge may be more severe than a misdemeanor charge.
Aggravated assault charges may vary in severity based on:
- Use of a lethal weapon
- Assault taking place in the victim’s home
- Victim status
- The perpetrator’s intent
- Severity of injury/damage caused
The circumstances surrounding the assault may make the charges and punishment more or less severe. If the assailant intended to cause great harm or serious injury to the victim, the charge may be more severe.
Additionally, assaults based on race, sexual orientation, gender and other protected classes, may be considered hate crimes. Hate crime charges can constitute up to 10 years of imprisonment. Assaults that result in the death of the victim or have a sexual component may result in a life sentence.
Charges may be less severe if the perpetrator did not use a weapon and the victim’s injuries were non-life threatening.
What if you have been arrested for aggravated assault?
An aggravated assault charge can result in serious consequences. Speak with an Oklahoma defense attorney immediately after arrest. There may have been unforeseen circumstances that led to the assault. An in-depth investigation of your actions may help your defense.