Defending Against Aggravated Assault Charges
Aggravated assault is one of the most serious charges you can face in the state of Texas, and if you wish to avoid excessive punishment, your best option is to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer. We can help you gather evidence and identify witnesses who may be able to testify to your innocence. We may be able to have your charges dismissed or reduced if we can demonstrate that your actions were not responsible for the persons injuries, or that you were acting in self-defense. It also may be possible to work out a plea bargain in which you are charged and sentenced with a lesser form of assault.
What Is Aggravated Assault In Texas
Aggravated assault in Texas consists of:
- intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing serious bodily injury to another person, or
- using or exhibiting a deadly weapon in the course of committing any assault crime, including threatening another with bodily injury or engaging in conduct that the victim likely will find offensive.
Finding The Right Aggravated Assault Attorney
Aggravated assault is one of the most serious crimes in the Texas Penal Code. In certain circumstances, a conviction can cost you your liberty for the rest of your life. Even with a lesser sentence, a felony conviction can mean a prison sentence, your loss of the right to vote or own a firearm, and difficulty in everything from securing housing to find a job.
An attorney with experience in criminal defense law will be able to help you understand the charges against you. The stakes are too high to face aggravated assault charges on your own. Your best course of action is to discuss your case with an attorney that can help you craft your defense and obtain the best possible outcome. If you have been charged with aggravated assault in the Odessa, Texas area contact the Law Office of E. Jason Leach, PLLC for a free consultation.
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Potential Consequences For Assault With Bodily Injury
Under Texas state law, assault with bodily injury and other class A misdemeanors are punishable with a maximum of 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. Other assault charges can have lesser or greater punishments, depending on the circumstances of the case.
- Class C misdemeanors usually occur when the threat of assault or a provocative action takes place. Penalties usually include a fine of up to $500.
- Class B misdemeanors occur when assault occurs during a sports game. Penalties can include up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
- Third-degree felonies occur when the case involves security officers, emergency services personnel, public servants, and instances of domestic violence. Penalties can include up to 10 years in state prison and a fine up to $10,000.
- Second-degree felonies occur when domestic violence is involved, the perpetrator has a criminal record of similar assault offenses, aggravated assault occurs, or the offense involves choking. Like third-degree felonies, this crime is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
- First-degree felonies are the most serious assault charges someone could face. This crime occurs when an act of aggravated assault occurs against a police officer, public official, security guard, or other protected person, or when a domestic aggravated assault takes place. Penalties can include between 5 years to life in prison and a fine.
Degrees Of Aggravated Assault
The varying degrees of aggravated assault convictions vary according to state laws. Generally, it is considered first degree aggravated assault if the act was committed with premeditation and malice aforethought. Second degree aggravated assault typically includes when the assault is committed without premeditation or forethought. Third degree and fourth degree aggravated assault charges can be given for lesser offenses, like when the suspect intends to inflict significant rather than serious bodily harm to the victim.
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Aggravated Assault In Texas And The Penalties For It
Aggravated Assault in Texas and the Penalties for It
Penalties For Aggravated Assault In Texas
It was back in 1960 that federal officials first began classifying criminal offenses, according to a Crime Index, which includes a total of eight categories involving the most serious crimes committed nationwide. Aggravated assault is included as one classification among violent crimes, and each US state imposes a specific definition and penalties.
The charges are extremely serious in Texas, and statistics indicate that law enforcement aggressively pursues offenders. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety:
- In 2019, there were almost 76,000 individuals arrested for aggravated assault.
- There was a spike in 2020, as the number of people charged with aggravated assault increased more than 16% from the previous year. A total of 88,030 individuals were arrested.
- Though most arrests occur during the summer months, the second-highest period for aggravated arrest charges is October through December.
- Around 43% of all arrests for aggravated assault involve firearms, while other dangerous weapons account for 27% of attacks.
Elements of Aggravated Assault in Texas
Generally speaking, aggravated assault is a more serious form of assault. At the outset, you should note that Texas criminal laws provide for assault as a violent offense the crime you might know familiarly as the battery is incorporated into the elements of assault. You could face charges for aggravated assault if:
What Are The Penalties For Aggravated Assault In Texas
Aggravated assault is a second-degree felony, punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
The offense becomes a first-degree felony when any of the following circumstances apply:
- the offender uses a deadly weapon in committing domestic assault and causes serious bodily injury to the victim
- the aggravated assault is committed by or against a public servant, such as a state worker or city counselor acting in their official capacity
- the offender commits aggravated assault in retaliation against a witness, informant, or a person who reported a crime, or
- the offender shoots a firearm from a motor vehicle at a house, building, or motor vehicle with reckless disregard for whether it’s occupied and causes serious bodily injury to the victim.
For a first-degree felony, a conviction carries five to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
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Simple Assaults In Texas
Although a simple assault is less serious than a felony, there is also a range of misdemeanors. You may end up incarcerated even if you committed a misdemeanor.
A Class A misdemeanor carries a jail term of up to a year. However, a Class C misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of up to $500.
Simple assault in Texas consists of:
- Knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly causing another person bodily injury.
- intentionally or knowingly threatening another party with imminent bodily injury, or,
- intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact to another individual that the offender knows or reasonably should know will be treated as provocative or offensive by the victim.
Assault is taken very seriously in Texas. If you have been charged with this offense, please contact our Fort Worth criminal defense attorney to schedule a free evaluation, at The Medlin Law Firm we thrive to create personalized defenses according to your needs.
About The Medlin Law Firm – Gary Medlin
In over 36 years of criminal law practice, Gary Medlin has handled thousands of criminal matters. His experience practicing both sides of Texas state and federal criminal law cases offers a significant advantage to his clients.
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Penalties For Assault With Serious Bodily Injury In Travis County
Any aggravated assault charges carry very significant consequences. The possible punishments depend on the specific classification of the offense.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime that the alleged offender has been accused of, a conviction could result in the following penalties:
- Second-Degree Felony Up to of 20 years or life in prison and fine of up to $10,000
- First-Degree Felony Up to of 99 years or life in prison and fine of up to $10,000
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What Is Serious Bodily Injury In Texas
Every state defines the idea of serious bodily injury somewhat differently, and whether a specific injury constitutes serious bodily injury can sometimes be open to interpretation by the jury in a criminal defense case. Texas law considers an injury to be a serious bodily injury when that injury creates a substantial risk of death or causes death, permanent disfigurement, or long-term loss of any part of the body.
Examples include, but are not limited to:
- A knife wound that interferes with the functioning of an organ, such as the stomach or lungs
- Scarring that causes disfigurement and requires extensive medical treatment
- An injury that results in neurological damage and loss of limb use
- A broken facial bone that requires surgery to prevent disfigurement
- An eye injury that results in full or partial blindness
Examples that would probably not be considered serious bodily injury include:
- A broken bone that can heal without long-term adverse effects
- A knife wound that did not cause serious damage
- Minor scarring that does not result in disfigurement
Whether a scar is minor or constitutes disfigurement can be subject to interpretation, and a judge or jury will need to decide whether an injury rises to the description of serious bodily injury.
Threatening Imminent Injury With A Deadly Weapon
The second kind of assault involves either committing what would otherwise be a simple assault while brandishing a deadly weapon. There is no requirement of injury aggravated assault can include an offensive conduct that involves a deadly weapon. In other words, an offensive touching that would otherwise be charged as simple assault will be upgraded to aggravated assault if a deadly weapon is present.
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Harassment By Persons In Certain Correctional Facilities Harassment Of Public Servant
§22.11 Tex Penal Code While imprisoned or confined
Punishment: 3rd Degree Felony
§22.11 Tex Penal Code While public servant lawfully discharging duty, in retaliation, or exercising official power
Punishment: 3rd Degree Felony
Simple Assault Laws In The State Of Texas
An assault conviction will become a permanent part of your criminal record. But if you have been convicted of another crime, the judge may impose a harsher sentence. A simple assault in the State of Texas is a crime that involves any of the following:
- You intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused bodily injury to someone else.
- You intentionally or knowingly threatened someone with bodily injury.
- You intentionally or knowingly made physical contact with someone else that would be reasonably considered to be offensive or provocative.
It would be seen as bodily injury if it caused physical pain, illness, or impairment of someones physical condition. However, it would only be seen as simple assault if it involved a minor injury . Any injury that resulted in a broken bone, a loss of a limb, or one that required hospitalization would be seen as serious bodily injury.
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How Can A Lawyer Help Me Defend Against Charges Of Aggravated Assault
Aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury is a serious charge that has serious consequences, including long prison sentences. A great criminal defense attorney can help you argue that you acted in self-defense, acted to protect someone else, did not cause serious bodily injury, or even that you have been mistakenly identified as a suspect. The specific defense will depend on the details of your case, but you should not take a plea deal without consulting an attorney just because the states case against you seems strong.
Enhanced Crimes In Texas
If you have been charged with aggravated assault in Texas, you need to be informed about the charges you are facing and prepared for what you can do to attack those charges. Below, we are going to detail the law and associated penalties and tell you how a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can help.
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Aggravated Assault By Threat Charges In Texas
Under Texas law, you can be charged with Aggravated Assault if you exhibited a deadly weapon and the alleged victim claims to have been in fear of serious bodily injury or death.
If you are just holding a deadly weapon but the alleged victim tells the police they were scared for their life, you can be charged with aggravated assault.
Here is where aggravated assault charges can get a little crazy. Here are a few examples:
Additionally, there may be many reasons people will claim aggravated assault deadly weapon. We have found that an opposing party in a divorce proceeding will sometimes claim an aggravated assault by threat to gain leverage in a family law proceeding. This is important to remember this concern and bring it up to your criminal attorney so that the true motive behind the alleged victims claim can be exposed at a criminal trial.
Sometimes a person will make up a claim of aggravated assault deadly weapon to protect themselves. They may be afraid that if they do not claim you placed them in fear for their life, they may get arrested and face similar criminal charges. For example: someone may have attacked you with a knife and this caused you to pull out your gun to protect yourself. The alleged victim knows that if he does not claim you attacked him first with the gun, he will face his own aggravated assault deadly weapon arrest and face prosecution and a possible conviction.
What Is Assault Causing Bodily Injury
The Texas Penal Code also provides a definition of assault with bodily injury. Simply put, this crime occurs when a perpetrator commits an act of assault that causes pain to the alleged victim. The assault does not have to leave a mark on the victims body for bodily injury to occur. The perpetrator must commit this act in an intentional, knowing, or reckless manner.
The state of Texas categorizes assault in a number of different ways, and assault charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies. When it comes to assault with bodily injury, Texas defines it as a Class A misdemeanor. Under these circumstances, an act of assault results in bodily injury and no aggravating factors occur, such as the use of a weapon or a serious injury.
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Aggravated Assault With A Motor Vehicle Charges In Texas
Texas Penal Code § 22.02 establishes that a person commits aggravated assault if the person commits assault as defined in Texas Penal Code § 22.01 and the person either causes serious bodily injury to another, including the persons spouse or uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault. Texas Penal Code § 22.01 states that a person commits assault if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the persons spouse intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the persons spouse or intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
Again, a motor vehicle can be considered a deadly weapon for purposes of these criminal charges. Texas Transportation Code § 501.001 defines a motor vehicle as meaning any motor-driven or propelled vehicle required to be registered under the laws of this state a trailer or semitrailer, other than manufactured housing, that has a gross vehicle weight that exceeds 4,000 pounds a travel trailer an off-highway vehicle, as defined by Section 551A.001 or a motorcycle or moped that is not required to be registered under the laws of this state.
Aggravated assault is typically a second-degree felony, but it becomes a first-degree felony if:
Aggravated Assault Lawyer In Houston Texas
Upon being charged with an assault related offense, our firm will immediately begin an evaluation of the allegations and evidence against you. We have a network of investigators that can find witnesses or evidence that may exonerate you and dismiss the criminal charges against you. Many times, these cases involve self defense and witnesses and surveillance videos are pertinent in defending against these offenses. Video surveillance footage is typically stored on hard drives and records over itself on the hard drives fill with data. Depending on the system, the quality of the footage, and the size of the hard drive, this could be within a weeks or sometimes even days if they are not preserved. Once they are gone, it would be almost impossible to recover if even remotely possible at all. Do not drag your feet and let this evidence be destroyed.
In some circumstances, we can get the charges reduced to a lesser included offense. When the stakes are high and every piece of evidence is critical, you need a Houston Aggravated Assault attorney that will be in your corner and protect you every step of the way. Contact the Law Office of Henry K. Nguyen, P.C. as soon as possible to begin discussing your defense.
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