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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Being charged with a crime in Texas can be a stressful experience. Being charged with a crime like aggravated assault can take an even larger toll because it is a felony charge. The penalties for an aggravated assault charge in Texas tend to be harsher than the penalties in other states in the U.S. This is why it is particularly important to retain an experienced Midland aggravated assault lawyer who is familiar with Texas state laws. If you face aggravated assault charges, retain the services of a tenacious assault lawyer who will protect your rights.
Defining Aggravated Assault in Texas
Felony assault, also referred to as aggravated assault, differs from simple misdemeanor assault charges in that it involves a serious bodily injury. Under §22.02 of the Texas Penal Code, a person commits an aggravated assault if the person causes serious bodily injury to another or uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of an assault.
Serious bodily injury involves injuries that can potentially lead to the death of the other person, serious permanent disfigurement, or some other significant impairment or damage to the other’s body. Broken bones or significant bruises can result in a misdemeanor assault being transformed into an aggravated assault.
Aggravated assault is treated as a felony in Texas. If convicted, the individual faces anywhere between two to 10 years in prison as well as fines up to $10,000. Potential fines and jail time can increase depending on the severity of the alleged crime.
Conviction for a felony is extremely serious and can have long-term ramifications. This is why it is essential to mount the best defense as soon as possible. If a conviction is inevitable, it is worthwhile to obtain a conviction for a lesser offense – such as a misdemeanor. An experienced Midland aggravated assault lawyer will know how to properly make the case to help achieve this result.
Alternatives to Conviction
In some instances, the evidence that the State has against the alleged criminal may be one-sided. An experienced attorney will know if a case is worth going to trial or if it may be necessary to take a plea bargain. In Texas, there are a few alternatives to jail time for a person who is charged with aggravated assault.
- Deferred Adjudication – the court places the individual on a probationary period in which they are required to participate in court-ordered activities such as community service or anger management classes. The individual must also refrain from breaking the law during this probationary time period. If the defendant is able to successfully comply with the court’s requirements during the probationary time period, the court may elect to dismiss the case. This is common amongst first offenders.
- Community Supervision – as an alternative to jail, the court may impose community supervision (similar to probation) whereby the defendant is held to a number of conditions such as submitting to regular drug tests, maintaining employment, keeping a curfew, and performing community service.
These are alternatives to jail time. The court may, on its own volition, impose a mix of jail time and other conditions as a part of sentencing. This is why having legal representation is crucial. A seasoned Midland aggravated assault lawyer will be able to negotiate the best possible terms on their clients’ behalf.
Contact a Midland Aggravated Assault Attorney Today
A conviction for an aggravated assault results in a permanent record. This permanency can have serious implications when it comes to obtaining or maintaining work. In some circumstances, convicted felons may be ineligible to obtain a security clearance. If you have been charged with aggravated assault, contact a Midland aggravated assault lawyer today to discuss your case.