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In El Paso, assault is legally defined as touching another person in an offensive or unwanted manner. State law recognizes such an act as aggravated assault when the actor causes physical harm or uses a dangerous weapon in carrying it out.
Once you are aware of pending charges, you should seek out legal information and aid from a seasoned assault attorney as soon as possible, since Texas prosecutes this offense as a felony. An El Paso aggravated assault lawyer could help you understand the risks you may face and work with you to develop a defense strategy.
Aggravated Assault in El Paso
Under Texas Penal Code §22.02, an aggravated assault occurs when a person touches another person without their consent and also does one or more of the following:
- Uses a dangerous weapon
- Shows a deadly object
- Severely injures another person
- Drastically harms the alleged actor’s spouse
State law considers a weapon in this context to be anything which may lead to scars, broken bones, physical impairment, and/or disfigurement. As an experienced El Paso aggravated assault attorney could affirm, the performance of this act may be charged as a second-degree felony.
Domestic Violence and Public
A person commits a first-degree felony if they use a deadly weapon in order to seriously harm a family or household member. This definition of “household member” includes people who live or used to live with the alleged actor, as well as people who had a child with the suspect or who are or were married to the defendant. In addition, Texas state law increases the classification of aggravated assault to a first-degree felony if the actor or the victim was a public servant.
Another variant of aggravated assault which may result in enhanced penalties is if a person engages in what is colloquially known as a drive-by shooting. This definition of aggravated assault applies when a person is in a vehicle and either knowingly or recklessly shoots into an occupied building or car, causing harm to another person.
Penalties for Aggravated Assault in El Paso
A second-degree felony conviction for aggravated assault may result in two to 20 years of prison time, while the sentence for first-degree felony aggravated assault may range from five years to life in prison. A knowledgeable aggravated assault lawyer in El Paso may be able to help a defendant mount a successful defense against either form of the allegation.
On top of the severe jail sentences, any person convicted of a felony may also have a permanent mark on their record. A felony offense may lead to difficulties obtaining employment or living in certain areas, as well as the loss of certain privileges like the right to vote and the right to own a firearm.
Get Help from an El Paso Aggravated Assault Attorney
You may feel overwhelmed or confused if the police have spoken to you about allegations of attacking another person. At the earliest sign of pending charges, your El Paso aggravated assault lawyer could begin working on your case and helping you explore all your legal options. Make sure you understand your rights and take full advantage of them—call today to set up an initial consultation.