If you have been charged with aggravated assault, you may be unsure how to defend yourself against aggressive prosecutors with years of experience. Aggravated assault charges can leave a mark on your record that will follow you for years to come, but an experienced assault attorney may be able to help. Contact an Odessa aggravated assault lawyer today to discuss your case. The sooner an attorney is obtained, the sooner they could begin working on your case.
Understanding Aggravated Assault
An incident is elevated from assault to aggravated assault if it results in serious bodily injury or if it involves the use of a deadly weapon. In first and second-degree assaults, the prosecution looks for aggravating factors which make an incident different than a simple assault. For example, if an individual uses a bat to break another person’s arms, that would fall under the aggravated assault category. For more information about what constitutes as an aggravated assault, consult with an Odessa aggravated assault attorney.
Defining Serious Bodily Injuries
A serious bodily injury is defined as giving injury or apprehension of danger to life, health, or limb. This definition can be unclear in some situations, but some courts use serious disfigurement as their standard. Another court establishes it as:
- Substantial risk of death
- Serious permanent disfigurement
- Protracted loss of the function of any bodily member
- Impairment of a bodily member
- Impairment or loss of an organ
The definition of serious bodily injury is often left to the interpretation of the court. If someone has a bruise and the prosecution says that is a serious bodily injury, many courts will disagree. Also, broken bones or significant scarring will often be considered serious bodily injuries by the court.
In order to convict a person, the prosecution must demonstrate that the injury is serious enough to warrant a felony charge. An Odessa aggravated assault lawyer will understand the arguments used by the prosecution and could fight for a lower charge.
Classification of Aggravated Assault Charges in Odessa
Aggravated assault in Odessa starts as a second-degree felony, but it can be elevated to a first-degree felony depending on the circumstances. If an individual assaults a public servant, for example, the prosecution may charge the individual with first-degree assault. Additionally, assaults against a family member could result in first-degree felony charges.
Long-Term Consequences for Aggravated Assault
An Odessa aggravated assault conviction can have serious long-term consequences beyond jail time and fines. An individual who is found guilty of aggravated assault will have a felony on their record, which can make life more difficult. Convicted felons lose many of their rights, and they could find it more difficult to find desirable employment or housing.
If a convicted felon is found guilty of other crimes in the future, the prosecution will use those prior convictions to enhance the penalties. An individual with multiple felonies could be considered a habitual felony offender or a repeat felony offender, which could upgrade future offenses from second-degree to first-degree, or from third-degree to second-degree.
Contact an Odessa Assault Attorney
If you face accusations of aggravated assault, you should contact a skilled defense attorney as soon as possible. A felony conviction can have serious ramifications, but an Odessa aggravated assault lawyer could help you fight for a favorable outcome in your case. Call today and set up a consultation to get started on your defense.