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When someone faces charges for aggravated assault, they may be unaware of the possible consequences that such an offense could incur. A person may have many questions, both initially and throughout the court process, about legal rights, the potential range of penalties, and options for handling the charge.
An Amarillo aggravated assault lawyer understands the difficulty of facing these allegations and the inevitable stress and fear that someone may experience as a result of the situation. If you are facing these charges, contact a detail-oriented defense attorney who could examine the case facts and help create a credible defense.
Aggravated Assault Under the Law
Texas Penal Code § 22.02(a)(1)-(2) states that aggravated assault occurs in either of the following two situations:
- The individual causes serious bodily injury to another
- The individual exhibits or uses a deadly weapon during the commission of an assault
While assault typically does not require a bodily injury, a serious bodily injury is required for aggravated assault. Texas Penal Code §1.07(46) defines serious bodily injury as bodily injury that may include one of the following criteria:
- Serious risk of death
- Serious permanent disfigurement
- Protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ
Penalties for Aggravated Assault in Amarillo
Aggravated assault is generally considered a felony in the second-degree under Texas law. However, it can be charged as a felony in the first-degree under some circumstances.
When someone uses a deadly weapon during the commission of an alleged assault it could be considered a first-degree aggravated assault. Additionally, this type of assault typically involves serious bodily injury to another individual who is a family member, current household member, current or former spouse, current or former intimate partner, or with whom he or she has a child
Another way an aggravated assault offense could be charged in the first-degree is if the individual is a public servant acting in an official capacity or if the person who was injured is a public servant acting in an official capacity. Furthermore, if the injured person was a security officer acting in the scope of employment, an assault charge could also be increased to a first-degree offense.
When the individual is acting in retaliation for another’s role as a witness, informant, or reporter of a crime, the assault charge could be elevated to first-degree. This also includes when an individual is in a motor vehicle and knowingly discharges a firearm toward a habitation, building, or vehicle, with reckless disregard for whether it is occupied, and causes serious bodily harm to another individual.
Pursuant to Texas Penal Code §12.33, a felony of the second-degree carries a potential penalty ranging from two to 20 years of incarceration and a $10,000 fine. A felony of the first degree carries a potential penalty of life in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Defining a Deadly Weapon
Texas Penal Code §1.07(17) defines a deadly weapon as a firearm or any other thing that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting death or serious bodily injury, or that is capable of inflicting death or serious bodily injury. When a weapon is present or used during an aggravated assault, it could significantly increase the charges a person could face.
Fight the Charge with an Amarillo Aggravated Assault Attorney
Whether you were acting out self-defense, trying to protect another person, or engaging in behavior that was misinterpreted, you may need the legal advocacy and representation that an experienced Amarillo aggravated assault lawyer. Make an appointment today and schedule a meeting to discuss your case.