Of the multiple types of assault charges made in Texas, criminal law attorneys stress that a charge of aggravated assault is the most serious.
Aggravated assault is a more violent type of assault that can bring substantial penalties if convicted, such as high fines, jail time, and a permanent criminal record.
As part of their defense methods, criminal defense lawyers must explain to a jury the difference between general assault and aggravated assault and then prove that a defendant’s actions do not warrant the latter charge.
If you’ve been charged with assault in Texas, it’s critical that you work with a criminal defense attorney who understands the difference between the two charges and can defend you against conviction.
How Is Assault Defined In Texas?
The state of Texas defines assault as an action in which one person knowingly or recklessly causes or threatens physical harm to another person.
It covers actions that involve obvious physical contact to cause bodily injury such as fighting or even more discreet physical contact such as inappropriate touching.
Attorneys warn that assault can also include threats of violence made to a person as well as any physical contact meant to provoke the other person even if no injury is caused.
Less violent or non-violent actions are usually charged as simple assault.
When Does Assault Elevate to Aggravated Assault?
Although any assault can result in charges, defense lawyers warn that more severe instances could be charged as aggravated assault which carries a much more significant penalty.
The charge of aggravated assault is made when at least one of two things have happened:
- Serious Bodily Injury - The assault results in injuries that are considered serious, such as but not limited to: permanent injury, disfigurement or disability, choking, loss or impairment of an organ or body part, risk of death, or death.
- Deadly Weapon - The assault is made using, or while brandishing a deadly weapon.
What Are Different Defenses for Charges of Aggravated Assault?
A charge of aggravated assault against you is a serious one that requires you to seek the counsel of a criminal defense attorney who ;can help you build the best defense to avoid a conviction of ;aggravated assault.
In these cases, proving that the assault was not aggravated or was somehow justified becomes the main factor.
Some of the defenses that criminal law attorneys may be able to use when a charge of aggravated assault is made include:
- Self Defense - Protecting yourself or someone else from impending injury or death.
- Defense of Property - You were exercising the Stand Your Ground law in Texas and protecting your property.
- No Weapon - No deadly weapon was used to cause or threaten violence.
- Mistaken Identity - You were not the person who committed the assault.
- Civil Rights Violation - Your civil rights were violated during your arrest.
- Other Defenses - The victims or witnesses can be proven to be lying, the other person was never in fear of injury ;or was aware that injury could happen, or prosecutors are not able to secure enough evidence to charge.
Criminal Law Attorneys Can Help With Assault Charges
A conviction of aggravated assault can lead to serious consequences including up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
To avoid this, it’s essential to hire a criminal defense lawyer who can properly investigate what happened and put together an effective defense to avoid it.
There are many ways that an attorney can defend in instances of self-defense, protecting property or other persons, and other instances when the crime committed is not what it appears to be.
Before you talk to anyone when arrested for any assault, call a defense attorney who can help you!