In Texas, assaultive offenses carry strict penalties. For those accused of assault with a deadly weapon, also called aggravated assault, a conviction could lead to several years in prison, costly fines, and other lasting limitations on your freedom and your future. If you’re facing second or first-degree felony charges for aggravated assault in the Pearland or Houston area, contact a skilled criminal defense attorney right away to ensure that your rights are protected. Here are some basic things you should know about aggravated assault charges and what to expect in the weeks and months ahead.
How Texas Defines Assault With a Deadly Weapon Charges
Under Title 5, Section 22.02 of the Texas Penal Code, aggravated assault occurs when a person “(1) causes serious bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse; or (2) uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.” According to this definition, you can face second-degree felony charges for assault even if you don’t actually use the deadly weapon during the incident. The criminal charges could also be elevated to a first-degree felony depending upon the circumstances, such as, using a deadly weapon and causing serious bodily injury to a spouse or family member, or if the aggravated assault is against a security officer or public servant.
Severe Penalties for Aggravated Assault Convictions in Pearland
Most aggravated assaults are charged as second-degree felonies. If convicted, you could spend between 2 to 20 years in prison, pay up to $10,000 in fines, and face other barriers to employment and housing once you’ve been released. For first-degree felony convictions, the court may sentence defendants to spend anywhere between 5 to 99 years in prison. These penalties carry life-altering ramifications, so it’s essential to seek the assistance of a trusted and experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Defending Your Freedom and Your Future
When law enforcement places you under arrest for aggravated assault, refrain from making any statements until you’ve had the chance to discuss your situation with your criminal defense lawyer. Even your attempt to explain yourself or your actions could be used against you later on, so exercise your right to remain silent until your attorney advises you on what steps you should take. Together, you and your lawyer will determine the best course of action—whether you claim the act was a form of self-defense or show that a witness mistook you for someone else, trust that there are several defensive strategies to explore. Reach out right away to protect yourself and your future.
If you or a loved one is facing aggravated assault charges in the Pearland or Brazoria County area, call Keith G. Allen, PLLC today at (832) 230-0075 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.