How Does Assault Differ From Aggravated Assault in Texas?
Under Texas state law, assault occurs when someone causes or threatens physical injury to another. This is a punishable offense, but the penalties rely heavily on several factors. The type of charge you receive depends on the severity of the injuries, your relationship to the alleged victim, whether the alleged victim is part of a protected or specific group, and whether a weapon was involved. Generally, Texas recognizes two main types of assault charges: simple assault (usually considered a misdemeanor offense) and aggravated assault (felony assault). Here’s what you need to know about the differences between these assault charges.
Simple Assault Under Texas State Law
Title 5, Chapter 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code defines assault as when a person: “(1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse; (2) intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse; or (3) intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.” Offenses under these circumstances will likely be considered misdemeanors, carrying penalties of up to $4,000 in fines and up to one year in county jail.
Aggravated Assault Carries Harsher Penalties
When a deadly weapon is used or serious bodily injury occurs, the charge elevates to aggravated assault. In most instances, aggravated assault is tried as a second-degree felony, carrying a potential 2 to 20-year prison sentence and as much as $10,000 in fines. However, certain factors can raise the charge to a first-degree felony, with a potential prison sentence between 5 to 99 years and a $10,000 fine. Aggravated assault against a family member, on-duty public servant, witness, informant, or security officer will likely trigger a first-degree felony charge.
Contact a Skilled Pearland Defense Attorney Right Away
Whatever the circumstances of your arrest may be, it’s in your best interest to contact a trusted criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal strategy. Your attorney will ensure your rights are upheld and respected, and you’ll work together to determine the best course of action aimed at securing you a favorable outcome. Don’t leave your future and your freedom up to chance—contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer today to protect your rights.
If you or someone you love is facing assault or aggravated assault charges in Pearland or the Houston area, call the Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC, today at (832) 230-0075 to schedule a free initial consultation.