Jackson, Mississippi Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains Aggravated Assault

Police officers in Mississippi frequently arrest people for the felony crime of Aggravated Assault.  This is one of the more serious violent crimes under Mississippi criminal law.

According to Mississippi Code Section 97-3-7(2), a person is guilty of aggravated assault if he

(a) Attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another or causes such injury purposely, knowingly, or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life; or

(b) Attempts to cause or purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon or other means likely to produce death or serious bodily harm.

Aggravated assault is a more serious crime than simple assault.  The primary difference between these two crimes is that aggravated assault requires that the victim suffer serious bodily injury (simple assault does not require “serious” bodily injury).  While most arrests in Mississippi for aggravated assault result from the victim actually suffering serious injury, it is important to note that a person can also be convicted of aggravated assault for “attempting” to cause serious bodily injury to a person. 

It is also noteworthy that under subsection (b), a person can be convicted of aggravated assault for attempting or actually causing “bodily injury” to another person while using a deadly weapon.  Under this subsection, if a deadly weapon is used, there is no requirement that the bodily injury be “serious.”

A conviction for aggravated assault in Mississippi carries a maximum sentence of up to twenty (20) years in prison.  However, if convicted of aggravated assault against persons in certain protected occupations, such as police officers and firefighters, the maximum possible sentence is thirty (30) years.  This increased penalty also applies to certain elderly and vulnerable adult victims (for a full list of the protected occupations and persons that will result in an increased sentence, please see my discussion of felony simple assault).

If you have been arrested for aggravated assault in Mississippi, please contact our Jackson, MS criminal defense law firm for a free consultation.

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