Aggravated in reference to a crime is something different. There needs to be certain factors present in order to charge a crime as an aggravated one; say aggravated assault, for instance.
“Aggravating factors that need to be present may include whether or not there was a dangerous weapon involved, if there was a threat to use a dangerous weapon, and if bodily harm was caused as a result of the crime in question, etc,” explained Daniel H. Wannamaker, board certified criminal defense attorney of Wannamaker and Associates, an Austin law firm with offices in Dallas and Houston.
“The factors are what “converts” a regular crime to an aggravated crime, and while that may sound simple enough on the surface, it rarely is,” said Wannamaker. So, there may be the crimes of aggravated assault, aggravated battery and even aggravated murder. “Although having said that, what makes a murder an aggravated one is slightly different,” added Wannamaker.
In cases of aggravated murder, the key to the charge being changed from murder to aggravated murder has to do with the location and situation of the murder. “For instance, the murder of an inmate by another inmate, while in prison. The location makes the charge aggravated murder,” explained Wannamaker.
Generally speaking, most aggravated crimes tend to have higher penalties attached to them; however, each case is different and involves different factors. “If you’re in a situation where you have been charged with an aggravated crime, call me, we need to talk about your options,” said Wannamaker.