First-degree assault is the most serious assault charge a person can face. In the most serious cases, a person may be facing life in prison. But in any scenario, it may feel like your future is suddenly uncertain.

If you are facing these charges, a skilled attorney may be able to help. An Odessa first-degree assault lawyer may be able to look at your case and advise you on the best steps to take.

Definition

In Odessa, any assault is an aggravated assault if it results in a serious injury or if the person used a weapon. A charge becomes first-degree assault if it was an aggravated assault allegedly committed against someone in a domestic relationship with the alleged attacker or a public official, police officer, emergency worker, security guard, witness, or informant.

In Odessa, assault requires that a person:

  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused bodily harm to another person
  • Knowingly or intentionally threatened another person with bodily harm
  • Intentionally or knowingly caused physical contact that the offender reasonably should know someone would find provocative or offensive

Potential Penalties

As first-degree assault is legally the most serious offense, it follows that the potential penalties are the most substantial.

First-degree assault is a felony charge that may result in five years to life in prison. Additionally, the person may have to pay a fine that could be up to $10,000. This offense may also result in a criminal record that could limit a person’s job opportunities.

The severity of the penalties depends on several factors, including the extent of the physical harm to the victim and whether the defendant used a weapon or other object. If a court finds that the alleged assailant used a deadly weapon, or that they showed great indifference to human life or safety, then they could face many years behind bars. As noted above, even a threat can lead to a serious criminal charge. Brandishing a weapon in a person’s face can be assault, even if no offensive or harmful physical contact followed.

A person should consult with an Odessa first-degree assault lawyer if they face potential penalties.

What if Someone Was Provoked?

The legal definition of assault implies that a person injured or attempted to injure another person without legal justification. Showing that the alleged assailant did not initiate the confrontation and was acting in self-defense may be a defense strategy.

If the alleged victim of the assault was verbally abusive in a highly personal way or provoking a person, then any reasonable person may be pushed to their limit. If someone acted as any reasonable person in that situation would, that may affect the outcome of their case. An Odessa first-degree assault lawyer may use provocation as a potential defense.

Speak with an Odessa First Degree Assault Attorney Today

First-degree assault is a felony charge. This makes it one of the highest possible charges possible in Odessa. Anyone facing these charges could face years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.

Considering the potential penalties, anyone facing these charges should seek the help of an experienced Odessa first-degree assault lawyer. An attorney could fight by your side and help you work towards the best possible outcome for your case.