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In Georgia and throughout the U.S., an aggravated assault is considered to be a serious offense. There are many factors that may result in an assault charge being upgraded to an aggravated assault. For instance, a weapon may have been involved in an attack or the person who committed the act may have intended to cause significant injury to the victim.

If an individual uses a deadly weapon or causes fear through the use of a deadly weapon, they could face an aggravated assault charge. Weapons are classified as deadly if they could cause serious injury or death. Guns are commonly labeled as deadly weapons, but a pocket knife could also be labeled as such if it's held to a victim's neck or another body part. In some cases, an assault charge is upgraded because of the status of the victim.

Assaulting a police officer, firefighter or a teacher may automatically result in an upgraded charge. This assumes that the person who commits the crime knew that the victim was a police officer or firefighter. Attacks carried out against individuals because of their sex, race or sexual orientation could be labeled as hate crimes and carry additional penalties.

Those who have been charged with aggravated assault or any other criminal charge may wish to consult with a criminal defense attorney. A lawyer may be able to create a defense to the charge that may result in a plea bargain or an acquittal. For instance, it may be possible to argue that an individual did not intend to cause harm or that any actions that caused harm were taken in self defense.

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