A man is wanted by the police after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend and leading police on a high-speed chase throughout Richland Township. He faces charges for the alleged assault as well as charges for stealing a vehicle and eluding police, all of which are felony crimes. Police believe that the 28-year-old suspect is considered armed and dangerous.
Assault with a deadly weapon is considered aggravated assault. Due to the seriousness of the crime, suspects face harsher punishment than for a simple assault charge. Although some cases of aggravated assault are considered misdemeanors, they are often classified as felony crimes. This depends on the state in which the crime is charged and other factors related to the incident.
These factors include whether or not a deadly weapon was used, such as a knife or gun. In addition, the victim's identity is a factor. Those who victimize public officials such firemen and police officers may receive harsher penalties. Hate crimes also can constitute aggravated assault.
The suspect's intent is also a factor. If the assault was planned, then the suspect can be charged with aggravated assault. Even reckless behavior, with no intent to harm another person, is considered to be a felony crime in some states. The victim's injuries are also used in determining whether an assault can be considered aggravated assault. The more serious the injuries are, the more serious the punishment the suspect can expect to receive. Assaults that disable or disfigure the victim are often punished more severely than those that result in minor injuries.
Source: The Kalamazoo Gazette, "Man wanted in Kalamazoo County on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, fleeing police," Anthony Smigiel, Nov. 21, 2012