Just watched "Night watching" on A&E. On the show, someone was stabbed 23 times. At the end the narrator said that a suspect was arrested and charged with 23 counts of aggravated assault.

Why not charge attempted murder? I would imagine the penalty for attempted murder is about the same as murder right?

1 Answer 1


It could depend on jurisdiction: in Georgia, attempted murder has a 10 year maximum term and aggravate assault has 20 years max. The essential difference is that attempted murder requires proving intent to kill, whereas "harm" is much broader and thus easier to prove.

  • Wouldn't stabbing someone multiple times be enough to prove intent?
    – ventsyv
    Feb 10, 2017 at 21:07
  • Now, it might just prove intent to seriously hurt. It depends on where the wounds were. It depends on what else the assailant did, like say "I'm gonna mess you up" vs. "I'm gonna kill you". You can't look at it as a one-sided question – you have to think about what other interpretations there are of the facts.
    – user6726
    Feb 10, 2017 at 21:23
  • Also, you can generally only prove one attempted murder count per course of events, while you might be able to prove dozens of counts of aggravated assaults for multiple stabbings. You would have to evaluate it on a case by case basis.
    – ohwilleke
    Feb 11, 2017 at 2:57
  • So curious, how is attempted murder only 10 years and agg assault is 20. May 5, 2020 at 15:10
  • 1
    This is incorrect. Attempted murder in Georgia has a maximum of 30 years, not 10. See law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2018/title-16/chapter-4/…
    – D M
    Jun 7, 2020 at 23:15

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