While “bodily injury” has a very broad definition in Texas law and applies to a wide range of incidents, aggravated generally involves either serious bodily injury or exhibition of a deadly weapon. Most aggravated assaults do not involve much doubt about injury, but some people could be charged with an aggravated assault even when an incident does not seemingly result in serious bodily injury.
Prosecutors aggressively seek maximum punishments for alleged aggravated assault offenders, and the penalties can be severe for people convicted of violent crimes. It becomes important for a person to try to defend against these charges because convictions can have very serious long-term consequences.
Aggravated Assault Defense Lawyer in Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine, Keller, and Southlake, TX
If you were recently arrested for an alleged aggravated assault in the greater Fort Worth area, you are going to need to make sure you retain legal counsel. Make sure that you take the time to speak with the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.
Our firm will know the best way to fight your charges and help you possibly avoid any kind of discipline. You can have us look at your case and discuss all of your legal options with you as soon as you call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Aggravated Assault Charges in Texas
Under Texas Penal Code § 22.01, a person commits the offense of assault if they:
- intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to another person, including the alleged offender’s spouse;
- intentionally or knowingly threaten another person with imminent bodily injury, including the alleged offender’s spouse; or
- intentionally or knowingly cause physical contact with another person when the alleged offender knows or should reasonably believe that the other person will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
Texas Penal Code § 22.02(a) establishes that a person commits aggravated assault if they commit an assault and:
- cause serious bodily injury to another person, including the alleged offender’s spouse; or
- use or exhibit a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.
Texas Penal Code § 1.07(8) defines bodily injury as including physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition. Under Texas Penal Code § 1.07(46), serious bodily injury is defined as meaning bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
Texas Penal Code § 22.02(b) states that aggravated assault is a second-degree felony, but the crime becomes a first-degree felony if:
- the alleged offender uses a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault and causes serious bodily injury to a person whose relationship to or association with the defendant is described by Texas Family Code § 71.0021(b) (dating relationship), Texas Family Code § 71.003 (family, which includes individuals related by consanguinity or affinity, individuals who are former spouses of each other, individuals who are the parents of the same child, without regard to marriage, and a foster child and foster parent, without regard to whether those individuals reside together.), or Texas Family Code § 71.005 (household, meaning a unit composed of persons living together in the same dwelling, without regard to whether they are related to each other);
- the offense is committed by a public servant acting under the color of the servant’s office or employment, against a person the actor knows is a public servant while the public servant is lawfully discharging an official duty, or in retaliation or on account of an exercise of official power or performance of an official duty as a public servant, in retaliation against or on account of the service of another as a witness, prospective witness, informant, or person who has reported the occurrence of a crime, or against a person the actor knows is a security officer while the officer is performing a duty as a security officer; or
- the alleged offender is in a motor vehicle and knowingly discharges a firearm at or in the direction of a habitation, building, or vehicle is reckless as to whether the habitation, building, or vehicle is occupied, and, in discharging the firearm, causes serious bodily injury to any person.
Assault with a deadly weapon is a separate crime that could involve any of the following weapons:
- Firearm Silencer — Any device designed, made, or adapted to muffle the report of a firearm.
- Handgun — Any firearm that is designed, made or adapted to be fired with one hand.
- Location-Restricted Knife — A knife with a blade over five and one-half inches.
- Knife — Any bladed hand instrument that is capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by cutting or stabbing a person with the instrument.
- Knuckles — Any instrument that consists of finger rings or guards made of a hard substance and that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with a fist enclosed in the knuckles.
- Machine Gun — Any firearm that is capable of shooting more than two shots automatically, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.
- Short-Barrel Firearm — A rifle with a barrel length of fewer than 16 inches or a shotgun with a barrel length of fewer than 18 inches, or any weapon made from a shotgun or rifle if, as altered, it has an overall length of fewer than 26 inches.
- Armor-Piercing Ammunition — Handgun ammunition that is designed primarily for the purpose of penetrating metal or body armor and to be used principally in pistols and revolvers.
- Hoax Bomb — A device that reasonably appears to be an explosive or incendiary device or by its design causes alarm or reaction of any type by an official of a public safety agency or a volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies.
- Chemical Dispensing Device — A device, other than a small chemical dispenser sold commercially for personal protection, that is designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of dispensing a substance capable of causing an adverse psychological or physiological effect on a human being.
- Zip Gun — A device or combination of devices that was not originally a firearm and is adapted to expel a projectile through a smooth-bore or rifled-bore barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion or burning substance.
- Tire Deflation Device — A device, including a caltrop or spike strip, that, when driven over, impedes or stops the movement of a wheeled vehicle by puncturing one or more of the vehicle’s tires. The term does not include a traffic control device that is designed to puncture one or more of a vehicle’s tires when driven over in a specific direction and has a clearly visible signposted in close proximity to the traffic control device that prohibits entry or warns motor vehicle operators of the traffic control device.
Tarrant County Aggravated Assault Penalties
Possible sentences for aggravated assault convictions could include:
- Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
- First-Degree Felony — Up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000
Aggravated Assault Defenses in Fort Worth
A common defense against an aggravated assault charge is whether the injury was truly serious. When an alleged victim’s injuries do not satisfy the definition of serious bodily injury, it may be possible for charges to be dropped.
When aggravated assault charges are based on the exhibition of a deadly weapon, a possible defense could be that the alleged weapon does not satisfy the state definition. Another common defense in these cases could be self-defense, which is often used to negate criminal charges.
Fort Worth Aggravated Assault Resources
Victim Assistance – Tarrant County — The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office Victim Assistance Coordinator is responsible for providing all victims of violent crimes with support from the time of initial victimization until the case is turned over to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office. In addition to assisting victims throughout the criminal justice system, the Coordinator also provides referrals to local social service agencies to meet the emotional and physical needs of the victim. Other services to victims include, but are not limited to, accompaniment to the hospital, assistance in relocating to a shelter, and coordinating with other law enforcement agencies and social service agencies whenever necessary.
National Center for Victims of Crime — The mission of this national non-profit organization is “to forge a national commitment to help victims of crime rebuild their lives.” It is dedicated to serving individuals, families, and communities harmed by crime. Find information about options for victims, victims’ rights, and crime victim compensation.
Find A Tarrant County Defense Attorney for Aggravated Assault | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
Were you arrested for an alleged aggravated assault in Fort Worth or another community in Tarrant County? Do not try to explain yourself to the police without a lawyer.
Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy right away. You can have us examine your case and discuss everything you are dealing with when you call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.
Yes, if the weapon in question can cause death or serious bodily injury it can be used to charge you as a felon. This can include Baseball bats, scissors, pellet guns, rocks, cars, heavy furniture or equipment. Do not assume that if it a non-lethal every day item used in an assault; it cannot be considered a felony.
Yes, if the weapon was used for the intent to cause fear of imminent death or bodily injury in the victims mind, then this is enough to allow the government to proceed with a felony charge against you.