During this time in our country of uncertainty and unrest, understanding the law matters more than ever. In fact, we find that many clients often misunderstand assault charges. This is especially true with the differences between assault and aggravated assault. Without the right knowledge and legal expertise, you risk greater penalties.
Mary Conn Law offers expert criminal defense to help navigate complex Texas laws. Contact us to request a consultation.
What is Assault and Aggravated Assault in Texas?
Texas has a broad definition for assault. In fact, even brushing up against someone in the wrong setting could lead to an assault charge. In today’s volatile climate, it’s not far-fetched to understand how someone may consider a behavior offensive or provocative and claim an assault occurred.
Aggravated assault is a higher level of assault charge with stiffer penalties. When the charge shifts from assault to aggravated assault, the case becomes much more serious and the impact on your future much greater.
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another
- Intentionally or knowingly threatening another with imminent bodily injury
- Intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact with another when the person knew or should have reasonably believed that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative
Aggravated Assault Defined:
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing serious bodily injury to another
- Using or exhibiting a deadly weapon during the assault
- Reckless driving in some cases
Texas Penalties for Each Type of Assault
The penalties for both assault and aggravated assault vary widely. For example, assault charges may range from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the specific circumstances for the case. Likewise, aggravated assault may vary in the degree of the felony charge.
In other words, assault charges are serious and required serious attention. Even the lowest level misdemeanor can result in a maximum penalty of one year in jail and up to a $4000 fine. That’s a huge consequence, especially for many of the lower level assault charges we see.
If an aggravated assault results in a first-degree felony charge, the maximum sentence includes life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. There is no room for error with charges that serious. It is your freedom and quality of life on the line.
How Assault Against a Public Servant Becomes Aggravated Assault
Texas has a special category of assault when an assault occurs against a public servant. A public servant is a person that works for the government. For example, elected officials, police officers and child service professionals fall under the public servant category.
Just like with the evaluation from assault to aggravated assault in typical cases, if serious bodily injury occurs or the use of a deadly weapon is involved, the charges increase to the aggravated level.
The penalty is greater for aggravated assault on a public servant. The charge is a first-degree felony, which carries a minimum of five years of incarceration.
How a Smart Criminal Defense Can Influence the Type of Assault Charge
Serious charges require a serious attorney. Mary Conn Law has a track record for successfully managing assault and aggravated assault cases for her Houston area clients. When you work with an expert attorney, you lower your risk of more serious charges and penalties.
Assault charges depend on the testimony of witnesses or the victim. This means the interpretation of the case details vary based on perspective. Especially with assault where a minor encounter can result in charges, you need a smart criminal defense team on your side.
In fact, with the right attorney on your side, the prosecution or court may decide to drop the charges after reviewing the facts of the case. Don’t leave your case up to chance, build a strong defense from the start.
Position Yourself for the Best Possible Outcome
The best action you can take when charged with assault or aggravated assault in the Houston area is to contact Mary Conn Law. The quicker to seek legal counsel, the quicker we can get to work on your defense. Contact us today to request a consultation.