If you have been charged with aggravated assault in Texas, you need to be informed about the charges you’re facing. Below, we’re going to detail the law and associated penalties, and tell you how a knowledgeable criminal attorney can help.
Aggravated Assault Charges in Texas
Aggravated assault is defined by Texas Statutes 22.01 and 22.02 as such:
“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.”
Let’s break down the parts of that definition.
Recklessness is acting with disregard to the results of an action. For example, a reckless driver does not necessarily act with intent to harm but presents a risk of harm to the other driver with his or her reckless actions, such as speeding or tailgating.
Serious bodily injury
Serious bodily injury is described as such under the law:
- Presents a substantial risk of death
- Causes death
- Causes serious permanent disfigurement
- Causes impaired function or functional loss of a bodily organ or member
These types of injuries normally require hospitalization, surgery, or physical therapy for treatment.
A deadly weapon is a weapon that is inherently dangerous, such as a firearm, knife, or brass knuckles. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, other items like chairs, ropes, or baseball bats can be considered deadly weapons.
Penalties for Aggravated Assault in Texas
Aggravated assault is normally a second degree felony. A conviction will result in a prison sentence of two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
In the following situations, however, aggravated assault will be charged as a first degree felony, and conviction can result in a prison sentence of five to 99 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Use of a deadly weapon during assault which causes serious bodily injury to a family or household member, or someone with whom the offender has or has had an intimate relationship (domestic assault)
- Victim is a public servant or security officer working in his or her line of duty
- Offender knows the victim to be a public servant, and acts in retaliation for the duties performed by the public servant
- Assault against someone who reported a crime, an informant, or a witness
- Offender shot a firearm from a motor vehicle at another motor vehicle, building, or house with reckless disregard for occupancy and causes serious bodily injury to victim
The court may also require the offender to pay restitution to the victim for his or her medical treatment, counseling, and property damages related to the crime.
Fighting Aggravated Assault Charges
If you are convicted for assault charges in Texas, your consequences go beyond prison and fines. Your permanent record will be negatively affected. Your ability to find quality employment and housing may be hampered, and you will lose other rights such as the right to bear arms.
The value of quality representation by an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney cannot be underestimated.
With a skilled assault lawyer’s help, you may be able to get your charges reduced or dropped. Call today for a free case review. Your attorney will advise you on the best options available to fight back against your charges.
About the Author:
After getting his Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center, Jeff Hampton began practicing criminal law in Texas in 2005. Before becoming a defense attorney, he worked as a prosecutor for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office – experience he uses to anticipate and cast doubt on the arguments that will be used against his clients. Over the course of his career, he has helped countless Texans protect their rights and get the best possible outcome in their criminal cases. His skill has earned him recognition from the National Trial Lawyers (Top 100 Trial Lawyers) and Avvo (Top Attorney in Criminal Defense, Top Attorney in DUI & DWI, 10/10 Superb Rating), and he is Lead Counsel rated.