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What Legal Elements Must Be Present to Charge a Person With Aggravated Assault in Texas?

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Many individuals have heard the term “aggravated assault” but are not confident they understand what it means. Texas law distinguishes between simple assault and aggravated assault, with one of the main differences being whether the offender used a weapon or caused the victim to suffer serious bodily injury during the commission of the crime.

However, the Texas Penal Code also lists several other aggravating factors that can lead to the accused having their charges enhanced from simple assault to aggravated assault.

If you or a family member have been charged with the crime of aggravated assault, you must hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately to ensure your rights are protected.

What is the Difference Between Simple Assault and Aggravated Assault?

Texas law dictates that simple assault occurs when individuals engage in the following types of behavior:

  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person, including the alleged offender’s spouse.
  • Intentionally or knowingly threatening another person with impending bodily injury, including the alleged offender’s spouse.
  • Intentionally or knowingly having physical contact with another person when they should reasonably understand that the contact will be regarded as provocative or offensive.

However, an individual may be charged with aggravated assault if any of the following are true:

  • A deadly weapon was involved, such as a gun, knife, baseball bat, or motor vehicle.
  • The offender strangled a spouse, dating partner, or family member.
  • The offender has a prior family violence assault conviction and has now committed a subsequent offense.
  • The offense occurred in the commission of another crime, such as sexual assault.
  • The victim is a law enforcement officer or public servant.

Suppose you need more information regarding the differences between simple assault and aggravated assault. In that case, you need to consult with a criminal defense attorney who can answer your questions and determine what legal options may apply to your case.

Is Aggravated Assault a Misdemeanor or a Felony in Texas?

Aggravated assault is a second-degree felony in Texas. If an individual is convicted of aggravated assault, they could be sentenced to a minimum of two years but not more than 20 years in prison, accompanied by a fine of up to $10,000.

However, an aggravated assault charge may be enhanced to a first-degree felony. In Texas, if an offender is convicted of a first-degree felony, they will be sentenced to 5 to 99 years in prison in addition to a fine of $10,000.

An aggravated assault charge may be enhanced from a second-degree to first-degree felony if any of the following apply:

  • The offender discharged a weapon from a motor vehicle into a home, business, or another vehicle with reckless disregard for others, and in the commission of the crime, an individual sustained serious bodily injury.
  • The offender used a deadly weapon while committing a domestic assault, which caused serious bodily injury to the victim.
  • The offender committed aggravated assault intending to retaliate against a witness, informant, or other person who reported a crime.
  • The offender committed the aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer or public servant who was acting in their official capacity at the time the incident occurred.

If you are still unsure regarding the legal guidelines the state uses to determine aggravated assault charges, contact our law firm, and ask to schedule a free initial consultation so that we may answer your questions.

Does a Person Always Go to Jail if They Are Convicted of Aggravated Assault

Texas has some of the strictest laws on the books when it comes to dealing with violent crimes. However, if an individual’s case meets specific legal criteria, the court may grant the defendant probation for an aggravated assault charge.

Individuals must meet the following eligibility requirements to be considered for probation in an aggravated assault case:

  • The offense did not involve a deadly weapon.
  • The court sentenced you to less than 10 years in prison.

It is essential that the sentence handed down by the judge for an aggravated assault charge be less than 10 years to be eligible for probation. For this reason, individuals who have been charged with aggravated assault must have a highly trained lawyer on their side who can work to negotiate a lesser sentence that will allow the judge to grant probation.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can work with the prosecution to try and have an aggravated assault charge reduced to a simple assault so there is a greater chance of receiving probation.

Why Do I Need to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney if I Have Been Charged With Aggravated Assault?

Texas takes a dim view of any type of violent crime, and aggravated assault is no different. If you have been charged with an aggravated assault, you must obtain qualified legal representation immediately. The sooner you obtain legal counsel, the quicker they can get to work building a defense strategy for your case.

A criminal defense lawyer understands the complexities of the Texas criminal justice system and what it takes to obtain favorable client results.

Our law firm has extensive experience representing individuals charged with aggravated assault. However, many individuals are unaware that most criminal cases are settled through plea negotiations between prosecutors and defense attorneys. As a result,

one of the most considerable benefits of hiring a criminal defense lawyer is they have the skills to try and negotiate a reduction of charges or ask to have them dismissed.

Our legal team will also conduct an independent investigation into the charges by interviewing witnesses, reviewing evidence, and determining weak spots in the prosecution’s case.

If you have been charged with aggravated assault, immediately contact Drehner Law of Houston, TX, at 832-626-0063 and ask to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

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