From time to time, you might hear on the news that someone was charged with an aggravated crime. Aggravated assault, for example, or aggravated robbery. But what does it mean for a crime to be “aggravated?”
Aggravated crimes are serious crimes with more serious penalties than ones that are not aggravated. To be charged with an aggravated crime, a person must do something that makes the crime more dangerous.
An example: someone breaks into a home. If that person is unarmed, it is likely he or she will be charged with simple burglary if caught. But if that person breaks into a home with a loaded gun or a knife, it is possible that those charges will be elevated to aggravated burglary. Often, the possession of a deadly weapon is all that police need to elevate charges to aggravated.
Other factors besides possession of a weapon can lead to aggravated charges. For example, if you cause bodily injury to someone in the commission of a crime, you may face aggravated charges. If you commit a crime against certain individuals, such as children, the elderly or the disabled, you could face aggravated charges. This includes police officers and rescue personnel, as well.
How Do I Fight Aggravated Charges?
If you are charged with an aggravated crime, it is possible for that crime to be lowered to a regular offense during the course of your case. Prosecutors may decide to lessen the severity of a charge if the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge. In other cases, prosecutors may not have sufficient evidence to push for penalties for aggravated crimes.
If you are ever charged with an aggravated crime, your best chances of having the charges and penalties reduced or dismissed are through the services of a criminal defense attorney in your area.