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Will Causing Bodily Injury Always Lead to Aggravated Assault Charges?

Posted on in Assault

TX defense lawyerThere are a variety of situations where someone may cause harm to someone else. In cases where someone acted in a way that was intentionally meant to injure someone, they may be charged with assault. While this can be a serious charge, the penalties can be even more severe if the offense is increased to aggravated assault. Because of this, anyone who is charged with assault involving bodily injury will want to understand the nature of their alleged offense, the potential penalties they may face, and the possible defense strategies that may allow them to avoid being convicted or reduce the offense to a lesser charge.

Assault vs. Aggravated Assault

“Simple” assault may be charged if a person knowingly and intentionally caused someone to suffer a bodily injury, and these charges may also apply if a person threatened to injure someone or even if they made physical contact with a person in a way that the person believed was provocative or offensive. Aggravated assault charges may apply if a person allegedly committed an act that could be considered assault that inflicted serious bodily injury on someone. An assault charge may also be increased to aggravated assault if the alleged perpetrator used or was carrying a deadly weapon when they committed the act of assault.

In many cases, whether an offense is considered assault or aggravated assault will depend on the level of the injuries suffered by the alleged victim. Under the Texas Penal Code, “bodily injury” includes any form of physical pain or illness or any other issues that impair a person’s physical condition. However, to be considered a “serious bodily injury,” a person must have suffered harm that put them at a substantial risk of being killed, or they must have been permanently disfigured or experienced the loss or long-term impairment of an organ or part of their body.

The threshold for what could be considered a serious bodily injury is high. Usually, an alleged victim must have suffered severe, life-threatening injuries or permanent disabilities. However, prosecutors may interpret these requirements loosely, and a person may be charged with aggravated assault based on injuries that would seem to be more minor, such as a broken arm or a dislocated shoulder. This could cause an offense that would normally qualify as simple assault, a Class A misdemeanor, to be charged as aggravated assault, a Class 2 felony, which carries a much longer prison sentence.

Contact Our Collin County Assault Defense Lawyers

Because of the serious nature of assault charges, it is essential for a person who is facing these types of accusations to secure representation from an experienced criminal defense lawyer. At the Law Offices of Biederman & Burleson P.L.L.C., we can help you understand the best defense strategies, including determining whether the charges can be dismissed or reduced. Contact our Plano criminal defense attorneys 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#1.07

 

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