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When Can an Assault Charge Be Elevated to Aggravated Assault in Texas?

Posted on in Assault

Allen criminal defense attorney aggravated assault

Most people understand that intentionally injuring or harming someone else can lead to criminal charges. In Texas, a wide variety of different actions can fall under the category of assault, but they typically involve claims that a person has acted in a way that he or she knew would cause bodily injury to a person, either intentionally or recklessly. While “simple” assault charges can result in a variety of criminal consequences, these charges become even more serious when a charge is elevated to aggravated assault. Those who have been accused of serious assault charges will want to understand the exact nature of the offense they are accused of committing, as well as the potential penalties they may face if convicted.

Aggravating Factors in Assault Cases

The Texas Penal Code states that a person may be charged with assault if he or she caused bodily injury to someone else either on purpose or through reckless actions, threatened to commit bodily injury or purposely made physical contact with someone else in a manner that could be considered offensive or provocative. A charge may be elevated to aggravated assault if one of the following occurred when the individual allegedly committed assault:

  • The person caused serious bodily injury to someone else. In addition to situations involving a person’s death, serious bodily injuries may include any injuries that put a person at risk of death, caused permanent disfigurement, or led to the loss or impairment of a body part or organ.

  • The person used or displayed a deadly weapon. Deadly weapons can include firearms, knives, or any other items that are designed or intended to cause death or serious bodily injury.

Based on these requirements, what may seem like a simple assault case could potentially result in aggravated assault charges. For example, if a person was hit on the head in a bar fight and suffered a concussion, this could be considered a serious bodily injury, since it put the person at risk of death. Alternatively, a heated argument in which a person shoved someone else could warrant aggravated assault charges if the alleged offender was wearing a firearm in a holster.

At a minimum, aggravated assault is charged as a second-degree felony. A person may face first-degree felony aggravated assault charges if he or she allegedly used a deadly weapon to inflict serious bodily harm on a family or household member, if the alleged victim was a public servant such as a police officer, or if the assault was allegedly committed as retaliation against a witness, informant, or person who reported a crime.

Contact Our Plano Aggravated Assault Defense Attorneys

If you have been accused of committing assault or aggravated assault, you will want to work with an experienced attorney to determine your best defense strategy. At the Law Offices of Biederman & Burleson P.L.L.C., we will help you understand your options, and we will fight to protect your rights throughout the course of your criminal case. Contact our reputable Frisco criminal defense lawyers at 469-333-3333 to set up your free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.22.htm

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.1.htm

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