Assault generally covers physical contact that results in bodily injury, threats of bodily injury, and offensive or unconsented physical contact. In Texas there is several types of assault offensives. There is simple assault, aggravated assault, sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault. Tex.Penal Code § 22.01 defines simple assault as the intentional, knowing, or reckless infliction of bodily injury. Simple assault is Class A misdemeanor. Simple assault becomes aggravated when (1) the assault causing of serious bodily injury to another, and/or (2) the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon. Serious bodily injury is defined as an injury that is substantial enough to cause death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any body part.
The State of Texas does not differentiate between assault and battery. Those acts are combined into the assault statute.
A defendant can commit an aggravated assault without inflicting serious bodily injury if the person assaults another while using or exhibiting a deadly weapon. A myriad of items can be considered a deadly weapon. Courts have found that vehicles, glass bottles, baseball bats, bed pillows, and scissors, among other items to be deadly weapons. Courts generally look at how the weapon was used and the physical characteristics of the weapon to determine if it qualifies as a deadly weapon. Courts have held that merely exhibiting a firearm with no physical movement to employ it and no verbal threat accompanying it is sufficient use of the weapon to constitute aggravated assault if the evidence at trial shows requisite intent.
An aggravated assault charge is normally charged as a second degree felony. The punishment range for a second degree felony is punishable between 2 and 20 years in prison and fines up to $10,000. An aggravated assault charged to be enhanced to a 1st degree felony if: (1) the defendant has a domestic/dating relationship with the victim; (2) the defendant is a public servant on duty at the time of the incident; (3) the victim was a public servant on duty at the time of the incident. The penalty for a 1st degree felony can be from 5 to 99 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Some alternatives to prison time for a person charged with aggravated assault are deferred adjudication and community supervision. Deferred Adjudication is when the Court places the defendant on a probationary period. During this probationary period, the defendant is required to complete court-mandated programs such as community service. The defendant cannot commit any other offenses during the probationary period. Once the defendant completes the probationary period, the court will dismiss the case. Community supervision is another alternative to jail. It is very similar to deferred adjudication.
Common defense strategies that the Major Law Firm has had success employing are: (1) self defense (2) false accusation (3) insufficient evidence (4) lack of intent.
Violent crimes such as assault and aggravated assault are aggressively prosecuted in the State of Texas. The Major Law Firm’s assault defense attorney has years of experience handling cases like yours, can help defend your rights, and fight for a positive outcome. A conviction for assault can affect your ability to possess a firearm, vote, or affect your custody rights. If you have been charged with aggravated assault, you need to contact a skilled aggravated assault defense attorney immediately.