Any time an offender uses a deadly weapon in the course of an assault, the charge will be elevated to aggravated assault. This holds true regardless of whether the weapon was actually used to harm the victim. As long as the perpetrator had a deadly weapon and threatened to use it, the charge will be aggravated assault. This is because there is far greater risk to the victim when a weapon is involved than if the perpetrator was using just their own body. With a weapon, the victim's injuries are likely to be far more severe, and there is the risk of death.
To be classified as a deadly weapon, the weapon in question must have the capability to kill the victim. Guns are always considered deadly weapons, as well as large knives. Other weapons can also qualify as deadly, depending on how they are used in the assault. For example, a baseball bat used to hit someone on the leg would not be considered deadly, but if it was used to hit the victim in the head, it likely would meet the requirements to qualify as deadly. Similarly, a pocket knife would typically not be deemed a deadly weapon, but if it was held to the victim's throat or wrist, it could be considered deadly