Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Alabama
In Alabama, there is not necessarily a charge classified as aggravated assault as in some jurisdictions, and this charge will typically be classified as assault with a deadly weapon. A person commits this type of assault using a deadly weapon to intentionally cause bodily injury to another person. There are three different classifications of assault, from one to three, with one being the most egregious and three being the least, and typically assault with a deadly weapon will fall under a first-degree classification. Certain elements of the assault will dictate whether a charge is classified as a first-degree assault, and the main factor that determines the classification is the severity of someone’s injury.
Assault with a deadly weapon in Alabama can be considered a felony or a misdemeanor and will depend on the injury sustained. If you have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, you will need an experienced assault attorney in Alabama to help build a defense for your case.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon Classification
Assault with a deadly weapon in Alabama could either fall under an assault in the first-degree prosecution or an assault in the second-degree prosecution. For a first-degree prosecution, the state must prove an intent to cause serious physical injury to another person, and in so doing, showing a deadly weapon or instrument was involved. For a second-degree prosecution involving a deadly weapon, it must be shown that there was intent to cause physical injury to another person and that a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument was used. In Alabama, assault with a deadly weapon most often will fall under an assault in the first-degree charge or an assault in the second-degree charge, which are both going to be considered felonies with the second-degree being a Class C felony and the first-degree being a Class B felony.
The definition of a deadly weapon in Alabama is anything that can cause injury or death including guns, knives, brass knuckles, or any type of nightstick. In Alabama, any instrument, article, or substance, which under the circumstances in which it is used or attempted to be used, is capable of causing death or serious injury is included under the concept of a deadly weapon or deadly instrument. The term also includes vehicles or boats.
Serious Physical Injury
Assault with a deadly weapon in Alabama is when an accused intends to and causes serious physical injury to another person with their deadly weapon. A classification of serious physical injury is what causes an assault to be elevated a higher degree of assault. Serious physical injury is an injury that creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious or protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ. The injuries that constitute assault first degree must be serious physical injury, a statutorily defined term. These injuries must rise to the level of catastrophic injuries or injuries that create lifetime health issues such as protracted impairment or loss of function of a bodily organ or limb.
Physical injury is less significant than serious physical injury, which is required for first-degree assault. Physical injury is an impairment of physical condition or substantial pain. A skilled assault attorney in Alabama will best be able to explain the nuances of these classifications.