Under Texas law, simply threatening bodily injury in an incident involving a deadly weapon can result in an aggravated assault felony charge. Similarly, any offense that causes serious bodily injury in another could also be considered aggravated assault.
Aggravated assault is a serious offense in Texas. Understandably, if you are facing these charges, you may have concerns about how long you might spend behind bars if convicted. These felony offenses carry the risk of a minimum of two years ranging up to even life in prison in some circumstances.
If you are convicted of aggravated assault, the severity of your sentence will determine whether you may or may not be eligible for probation. The most effective method of avoiding prison time is by avoiding a conviction entirely. If this is not possible, probation, lesser charges, and reduced penalties may all be effective options to minimize the potentially life-changing effects of this crime.
It is crucial that you are represented by a criminal defense attorney with strong experience in defending similar cases to give you the best chance of a successful outcome in your case. The defense attorneys at The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC are tenacious, aggressive, and strategic advocates of Texans facing assault charges. We will passionately defend you against aggravated assault charges and work tirelessly to reduce the chances of you spending time behind bars.
Aggravated assault cases are complex. The earlier we intervene, the better the chances of success.
Call the legal team at The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC today at 832-843-1691 to book your initial consultation to discuss your potential defense strategy.
Aggravated Assault Criminal Charges In Texas
Aggravated Assault With Serious Bodily Injury
It is possible to be charged with aggravated assault in Texas if you commit either of two offenses. The first offense occurs if you intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause serious bodily injury to another.
Under these circumstances, the law considers serious bodily injury to be anything that results in a substantial risk of long-term effects, permanent disfigurement, or the loss or impairment of bodily members or organ function, such as serious broken bones, facial scarring, or head injuries that impair brain function.
Aggravated Assault With A Deadly Weapon
The second offense that can result in an aggravated assault charge is a deadly weapon aggravated assault. In this offense, an individual must use or exhibit a deadly weapon in connection with an assault. The incident in question may not result in the same level of injury to the victim as aggravated assault resulting in serious bodily injury, but if a deadly weapon is used, it can still result in an aggravated assault charge.
If you threatened bodily injury, caused physical contact knowing that this would be offensive or threatening, or caused actual bodily injury in an offense involving a deadly weapon, this can result in deadly weapon aggravated assault charges.
Under Texas criminal law, weapons or objects that can cause serious bodily harm can be considered deadly weapons. This includes firearms, knives, ligatures, large heavy objects, or baseball bats.
An aggravated assault offense can result in a first or second-degree felony charge. A charge may be elevated to a first-degree felony for several reasons, including if the offense is committed against a witness to a crime, informant, or public servant. Similarly, using a deadly weapon in a domestic assault that results in serious bodily injury or shooting a firearm at a house or car that causes serious bodily harm can also result in a first-degree felony charge.
Penalties For An Aggravated Assault Conviction
Aggravated assault can result in a first or second-degree felony. Both charges pose the risk of a significant amount of time behind bars and a large fine. Additionally, an aggravated assault conviction will remain on your criminal record permanently. Such an offense on your record can have life-long implications for employment, your finances, and even your personal life.
Second Degree Felony
If you are convicted of a second-degree felony aggravated assault charge, you face between two to ten years in prison. You can also be fined up to $10,000. A repeat offense can result in more time in prison and longer mandatory minimum sentences.
First Degree Felony
If your charge is elevated to a first-degree felony, the penalties you face are even more severe. A conviction carries the possibility of a minimum of five years in prison, up to a total of 99 years or life, and a fine of up to $10,000.
Aggravated Assault Vs. Deadly Conduct Charges
An individual could face a charge of deadly conduct for knowingly discharging a firearm at another person, car, or house with reckless disregard for whether anyone is inside. Alternatively, you could be charged with deadly conduct for recklessly engaging in behavior that poses an imminent risk of bodily injury to another individual.
The main difference between aggravated assault and deadly conduct charges is the significant difference between the potential penalties you face if convicted. In Texas, a deadly conduct charge can be a misdemeanor or felony charge. Typically, if the offense involves a firearm, you will face a third-degree felony charge.
The penalties associated with both misdemeanor and felony deadly conduct charges are usually less severe than those of an aggravated assault conviction. If convicted of a misdemeanor deadly conduct offense, you face up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. A third-degree felony offense carries penalties of two to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
What Is The Difference Between Simple Assault And Aggravated Assault?
The key difference between simple assault and aggravated assault charges is the level of injury inflicted on the alleged victim. To secure an aggravated assault conviction, the prosecution must prove that the victim’s injuries fall under the category of ‘serious’. This usually requires proving that the injury will have long-term or permanent effects on the victim’s health or way of life.
The court may not consider a stabbing that did not result in serious injury or a broken bone with no long-lasting effects severe enough to secure an aggravated assault conviction. If your attorney can argue that the injuries involved do not constitute serious bodily injury, your charges could be downgraded to simple assault.
Can You Get Probation For Aggravated Assault In Texas?
Not all criminal offenses can be probated by a Judge under Texas law. Individuals charged with crimes including aggravated sexual assault, burglary, and certain drug cases will not be eligible for probation in Texas. However, under certain circumstances, an aggravated assault conviction can be probated.
Depending on the charge and sentence you receive, it may be possible for a Judge to grant probation for an aggravated assault conviction. Your attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecution for a probationary sentence if you fit the eligibility criteria.
To be eligible for probation, your offense can’t have involved a deadly weapon. If your aggravated assault offense did not include a deadly weapon, and you have been sentenced by a Judge to less than ten years in prison, probation may be a potential option.
This sentencing restriction of fewer than ten years is essential to your eligibility. This criterion is one reason that skilled legal representation in your case is crucial. If your attorney can fight your charges and secure a prison sentence of fewer than ten years, this can significantly improve the outlook of the penalties you face.
In addition, the likelihood of a probationary sentence increases substantially if your attorney can negotiate for a lesser charge of simple assault or deadly conduct, as opposed to aggravated assault.
How Can A Criminal Defense Lawyer Help?
Fighting aggravated assault charges is challenging. These are serious charges that the state will prosecute aggressively. You will need an equally aggressive defense to improve your chances of a favorable outcome.
Reputable legal counsel can help your case in many ways, such as providing a bespoke and compelling defense strategy to increase the chances of avoiding conviction, negotiating lesser charges and sentences with the prosecution, and arguing your case for probation.
Aggravated Assault Defenses
A skilled attorney can leverage a range of potential defense strategies to improve your chances of securing a successful outcome in your case. Depending on the specifics of your circumstance, self-defense or defense of a family member or loved one could be a viable argument to defend you from conviction.
An essential element of an aggravated assault charge is that the prosecution must prove that you intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused serious bodily injury. If you acted out of self-defense or defense of another, it could be argued that you did not intend to cause serious injury.
Similarly, if the injuries sustained by the victim were a result of an accident or if you were acting out of defense for your property, these could also be viable defenses and included in a strategy to beat or reduce the charges you face.
In addition to developing an effective defense strategy, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to negotiate a lesser charge than aggravated assault. Your attorney can dispute the evidence in the state’s case against you and argue that you are not guilty of such a severe crime. The prosecution may be open to making a deal for a lesser charge, such as simple assault, if the likelihood of them securing an aggravated assault conviction is in doubt.
Misdemeanor simple assault carries far less severe penalties, including six months to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. It is also more likely that your attorney can negotiate a community supervision sentence for simple assault, and the actual time you are on probation will be lower than for an aggravated assault conviction.
Experienced legal representation will likely affect the severity of the sentencing you receive. An attorney can emphasize the mitigating circumstances that lead to the offense and play down the aggravating factors and circumstances to the court. This defense technique, alongside demonstrating your good character aside from the incident and humanizing you to the court can positively impact your sentencing. As such, a defense attorney with experience presenting compelling and effective arguments in assault cases could reduce the impact that a conviction will have on your life.
Additionally, if you are eligible, your attorney can argue to the court that you will benefit from the rehabilitative effects of community supervision and therefore, you should be granted probation instead of a prison sentence.
Seek Reputable Legal Advice From The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC As Soon As Possible!
At The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC, our goal is always to have your charges dropped or your case dismissed. When this is not possible, we can skillfully negotiate with the state to secure a less severe charge, such as simple assault or deadly conduct. These offenses carry less-harsh penalties and may also increase the likelihood of a Judge awarding you probation, as opposed to incarceration.
In an aggravated assault case, the chances of a probationary sentence depend almost entirely upon the severity of the penalties you receive. Your sentencing will be significantly impacted by the quality of your legal representation and how they fight your case both inside and outside the courtroom.
If you are facing aggravated assault charges, the stakes are high. The State of Texas takes these offenses very seriously, and the repercussions can be severe, including lengthy prison terms and living your life as a convicted felon. The knowledge, skill, experience, and resources of your attorney could be the difference between a lengthy prison term and probation. It is even possible that your charges could be dropped entirely, or you walk away with only a misdemeanor charge.
Do not take risks with your future and secure experienced legal representation from The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC as soon as possible.
Contact our team at 832-843-1691 to book a consultation with one of our fierce criminal defense attorneys today.