You are looking at some serious legal trouble if you have been charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon in Houston. Prison time and large fines are the penalties for being found guilty. You will need a Houston assault with a deadly weapon attorney as soon as possible.
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An arrest or conviction for assault with a deadly weapon will permanently be on your record. It can make it hard to get a job, find a place to live, go to school or get public assistance. You might not get out of jail. Some assault charges can get you life behind bars.
This is why you need to contact an assault attorney right away.
Aggravated Assault Laws in Texas
As defined under Title 5, Chapter 22 of the Texas penal code, assault is a crime that occurs when a person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; threatens them in a way that would cause the other person to fear for their safety; or has physical contact with another person in a way that would reasonably be considered offensive or provocative.
Simple assault, sexual assault, aggravated assault and aggravated sexual assault are some of the charges that fall under this category. In addition, deadly conduct is considered to be assault. An example is brandishing a loaded weapon in public.
First & Second Degree Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon Felonies
A person commits aggravated assault if they use or exhibit a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault. Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Texas is usually a second degree felony. It can bump up to a first degree felony when the assault is in direction against:
- a family member,
- a public servant (such as a police officer),
- a security officer,
- a child,
- elderly individual,
- disabled individual
- or a witness to a crime.
A suspect can also have a charge with a first degree felony assault with a deadly weapon for a drive-by shooting.
Penalties for a second degree felony conviction in Texas can result in a prison sentence of between 2 and 20 years and fines up to $10,000. A conviction for a first degree felony conviction can get you 5 to 99 years or life in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
What Is A Deadly Weapon in Texas?
Title 10, Chapter 46 of the Texas penal code defines what a deadly weapon is. Under Texas law, a weapon can include:
- Clubs (includes blackjacks, nightsticks, maces, tomahawks, etc.)
- Explosive weapons (explosive or incendiary bombs, grenades, rockets or mines)
- Firearms (including silencers and armor piercing ammunition)
- Knives (and swords)
- Knuckles (as in brass knuckles; finger rings or guards made of a hard substance and designed for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with a fist enclosed in the knuckles)
- Hoax weapons (fake bombs or firearms)
- Chemical dispensing devices (includes tear gas, pepper spray and mace dispensers)
- Zip guns
- Tire deflation devices
- Improvised explosive devices
Fighting Charges of Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Houston
In order to obtain a guilty verdict, the prosecution must prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are guilty of the charges that have been filed against you. This is why it’s so important to contact a Houston assault with a deadly weapon attorney with experience to protect your rights. An attorney will be able to examine and evaluate the evidence against you and put together a great defense strategy to counter the charges. Possible defenses for a charge of assault with a deadly weapon can include:
- Lack of intent
- Defendant did not know victim was a public servant, security officer, etc.
- No physical injury was inflicted
- Lack of a deadly weapon
- Defendant did not know the alleged action would be considered offensive or provocative
Answers to Your Questions about Assault Charges in Houston
A plea agreement or plea bargain is an offer to the defendant of a lesser charge or lighter sentence in exchange for a plea of guilty or no contest. There are often reasons to consider a plea bargain, like lower legal costs and a predictable outcome for your case, but that doesn’t mean that the bargain is always a good deal. In the end, the best course of action is to hire a lawyer who has experience with cases like yours, and then follow their advice.
Eyewitness testimony can be a vital part of your defense in an assault case. Assault charges are often full of he said/she said accounts between the accused and the victim. And because those parties are emotionally involved in the altercation, there can often be embellishments of the facts.
A witness, on the other hand, may be able to prove that you were acting in self defense, or even that you were somewhere else at the time of the alleged assault. In the end, it is the job of your defense attorney to cast doubt on the story being told by the prosecution, and witnesses may be an important part of that puzzle.
A mistrial means that a judge is convinced that a defendant will not be able to receive a fair trial, and therefore they end the proceedings before a verdict is reached.
A mistrial may be declared by a judge for many reasons, including:
• A significant procedural error occurs.
• Evidence was improperly introduced.
• Jurors were improperly selected.
• Juror or prosecutorial misconduct is found
But a mistrial is not the same as a not guilty verdict, and it is still possible for you to be tried for the same crime.
Houston Assault with a Deadly Weapon Attorney Lisa Shapiro Strauss Is Here to Protect Your Rights
Do you or a loved have an assault charge? Contact the law offices of Houston assault attorney Lisa Shapiro Strauss to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal situation.
Lisa Shapiro Strauss is an experienced Houston assault with a deadly weapon attorney. She will fight the allegations against you and help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.