AGGRAVATED ASSAULT is defined as an assault upon the person of another with a dangerous or deadly weapon, or by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury. Depending on the severity of the circumstances, and taking into account the type of weapon used and any injuries sustained, the charge can be filed as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Physical injury is not a requirement of the charge. Merely pointing a firearm at someone in a threatening manner is considered a felony assault. Penalties range from up to one year in county jail to several years in state prison.
People v. William S. Defendant rams the back end of another vehicle at speed of about 60 miles per hour on freeway. He later confesses to police that he wanted to kill the passengers in the victim vehicle. Defendant arrested and charged with attempted murder and felony assault (his car being the deadly weapon). Investigation revealed defendant suffering from mood swings due to harmful combination of medications. Defendant admitted misdemeanor hit and run violation. Attempted murder and felony assault charges dismissed. People v. Henry P. Defendant, as a joke, points a firearm at a female co-worker at their workplace, and utters threatening words. The incident gets reported to supervisors at work and then to police. Defendant arrested and charged with felony assault. Felony assault dismissed.