What Constitutes a Deadly Weapon for Purposes of an Assault Charge?

In Wyoming, assault and battery is considered a violent crime. Assault and battery involving a deadly weapon, known as “aggravated assault” in Wyoming, is one of the most serious assault charges a person can face. Aggravated assault in Wyoming is a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

If you were charged with aggravated assault in Wyoming, you need an experienced, aggressive criminal defense team that will carefully investigate the charges against you and meticulously prepare a strong and compelling defense.

The criminal defense team at Just Criminal Law will carefully analyze your situation, identify potential defenses, and fight to protect your rights. We will craft a defense strategy that is designed to win at trial or force the prosecution to offer a plea to significantly reduced charges or dismiss the case against you.

Led by former prosecutor Christina L. Williams, our criminal defense team has extensive experience defending people accused of assault and other violent crimes in and around Gillette, Wyoming, and we know how to get results.

Understanding Wyoming Aggravated Assault Charges

In Wyoming, a person can be charged with aggravated when they:

  • Attempt to cause or intentionally or knowingly cause bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon;
  • Threaten to use a drawn deadly weapon on another person unless reasonably necessary in defense of their person, property or abode or to prevent serious bodily injury to another.

Proving Assault with a Deadly Weapon

For purposes of Wyoming’s aggravated assault statute, a “deadly weapon” is any instrument that can be used to cause bodily harm. Specifically, WY Stat §6-1-104 states that a “‘Deadly weapon’ means but is not limited to a firearm, explosive or incendiary material, motorized vehicle, an animal or other device, instrument, material or substance, which in the manner it is used or is intended to be used is reasonably capable of producing death or serious bodily injury.”

To prove aggravated assault, the prosecutor must establish every element of the alleged crime, beyond a reasonable doubt. They must prove the defendant threatened, attempted to, or did, in fact, cause bodily injury to another person using an instrument that is “reasonably capable of producing death or serious bodily injury.” This means the prosecutor must present evidence about the type of weapon used and whether it could have caused death or serious bodily injury.

Notably, the prosecutor does not need to prove that the defendant actually caused serious bodily harm or death. Instead, they only need to prove that the weapon has the capability of causing death or serious bodily injury.

What Items Are Commonly Classified as Deadly Weapons?

Items commonly classified as deadly weapons include:

  • Knives and other sharp objects
  • Guns and firearms
  • Baseball bats
  • Clubs
  • Hammers
  • Rocks or bricks
  • Metal bars or crowbars

Other items can also be classified as a deadly weapon, depending on how they were used. For example, a car can be classified as a deadly weapon if it was used to cause or attempt to cause injury or death to another person.

What Are the Penalties for Aggravated Assault?

Wyoming classifies the crime of “assault with a deadly weapon” as “aggravated assault.” A conviction for aggravated assault carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

Defenses to Charges of Aggravated Assault

Every criminal case is unique, and the defenses available will depend on the specific circumstances of the alleged crime. Common defenses to charges of aggravated assault include:

  • Self-defense
  • Defense of others
  • Defense of property
  • Lack of intent
  • No ability to carry out the alleged threat
  • Circumstances indicating the threat was not imminent
  • No well-founded fear on the part of the victim
  • Provocation
  • Vague threats without an overt act
  • Conditional threats
  • Factual disputes as to whether the conduct was threatening in nature
  • False accusations

Contact Just Criminal Law for Aggressive Defense Against Aggravated Assault Charges

Our criminal defense team can analyze the facts of your case and aggressively defend you against aggravated assault charges. Led by Christina L. Wiliams, a former prosecutor, we have the experience, resources, and expertise to aggressively defend you against aggravated assault charges and achieve optimal results in your case.

To put our expertise to work for you, contact Just Criminal Law today to schedule your personalized case review and strategy session.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is offered for educational purposes only. This information is not offered as legal advice. A person accused of a crime should always consult with an attorney before making decisions that have legal consequences.

Categories: Assault & Battery