Can aggravated assault charges lead to federal consequences?

Can aggravated assault charges lead to federal consequences?

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2023 | Criminal Defense

In the state of Alabama, aggravated assault is a serious offense with severe consequences.

However, what many may not be aware of is the possibility of facing federal charges in addition to state charges.

Aggravated assault in Alabama

Aggravated assault, in the simplest terms, involves intentionally causing another person serious physical harm or using a deadly weapon with the intent to cause fear. It is a felony in Alabama and treated with the utmost gravity by the state’s legal system. Those found guilty of aggravated assault can face substantial fines and significant prison time.

State vs. federal jurisdiction

Typically, criminal offenses fall under state jurisdiction, and the prosecution unfolds at the state level. However, certain circumstances can lead to the federal government getting involved in an aggravated assault case.

Interstate or federal property involvement

One scenario that may result in federal charges is when the assault occurs on federal property. This includes places like military bases, post offices or federal buildings. Additionally, if the assault crosses state lines, it can turn into a federal offense, potentially involving federal authorities.

Use of a firearm

The use of a firearm during an aggravated assault can elevate the charges to the federal level. Federal law takes a stern stance on crimes involving firearms. Even if the incident started as a state matter, the involvement of a firearm can trigger federal prosecution.

In 2022, 11,337 instances of assault occurred in the state. While the majority of cases remain at the state level, certain factors can lead to federal involvement and more complex cases.