A charge of aggravated assault in Texas is a Felony offense. Large fines, getting put in prison, and having a felony on your record are what you can face if you are convicted of aggravated assault. Our Houston aggravated assault lawyer will work hard to make sure that you are treated fairly in the eyes of the law. She is a former prosecutor whose law firm now works hard for the rights of people accused of assault.
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What is the Definition of an Aggravated Assault Charge in Texas Law?
Texas Penal Code Section 22 defines assaultive offenses. An aggravated assault charge is when one of the following is present:
- Serious injury was caused
- A weapon was used in the assault
What is Considered Serious Bodily Injury – Serious bodily injury means bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes:
- permanent disfigurement,
- or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any body part or organ.
What Can Be a Weapon in An Aggravated Assault? – Most people think of a weapon as a gun or a knife. Any object used to cause physical harm, or the threat of physical harm, could be considered a “weapon.” Hitting someone with a rock could be considered an assault with a weapon. Learn more about what is considered assault with a deadly weapon in Houston.
Penalties for Aggravated Assault in Harris County Can Be a 2nd or 1st Degree Felony
An aggravated assault charge is usually a 2nd-degree felony. It can have penalties of between 2 and 20 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
Certain things can cause an aggravated assault charge to be enhanced to a 1st degree felony. Some of these are:
- The defendant is related to or has a domestic relationship with the victim.
- The defendant is a public servant on duty at the time of the incident.
- The victim is a public servant who was on duty at the time of the incident. A public servant can include people working in all levels of government. This includes elected officials, police officers, and firefighters.
- The victim was a witness to a crime, an informant, emergency service workers, or a security guard.
The penalty for a 1st-degree felony can be from 5 to 99 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Fighting a Charge With a Houston Aggravated Assault Lawyer
An assault conviction can affect your life in many ways. You will have criminal penalties given to you by a court but it can also harm your life in other ways.
- Financially – It can harm your financial life by hurting your ability to get a job, find housing, or get a car loan.
- Custody Agreements – It can affect custody arrangements for minor children.
- Deportation – It can lead to deportation or denial of citizenship if you are not a U.S. citizen.
- Owning a firearm – It can result in the loss of your right to own a firearm
- Jury Duty – It may disqualify you from serving on a jury.
Answers to Your Assault Case FAQs
There are three basic steps to an assault dismissal. They are:
• Hire an attorney with experience with your type of case
• Examine the evidence against you and other details surrounding your case
• Convince the prosecuting attorney to drop the charges against you
Having witnesses who can corroborate your story can be very helpful to your case. There are often many competing stories after a heated situation like an assault. There could be mistaken identity. Alcohol may have clouded the vision or judgement of one of the witnesses against you. A victim may even be persuaded to testify on your behalf. It’s the job of you and an experienced defense attorney to find witnesses and tell the story from your perspective.
No. The prosecuting attorney does not need the victim’s cooperation to charge you with assault. One concern is that victims may be bullied or intimidated into changing their story. In some case, it might make it worse for the victim to ask the DA to drop a case. But if the victim has a change of heart, they should definitely speak to your attorney in order to build the strongest defense.
Are you or a family member being given a charge of aggravated assault in Houston Texas? It’s important to get help from criminal defense lawyer who has experience in assault cases. Houston assault attorney Lisa Shapiro Strauss is a former prosecutor. She now uses her experience and skills to fight for the legal rights of those facing criminal charges. Contact her today for a free consultation.