Aggravated Assault in Fort Bend County, Texas

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Uniform Crime Report, there were 71,561 aggravated assaults in the state in 2010 alone. Aggravated assault is treated as a serious crime in Texas and as such, you may face serious penalties if convicted. If you or someone you love has been arrested for aggravated assault in the Fort Bend County area, contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney should be your first priority.

What is Aggravated Assault?

Aggravated assault is a distinct crime separate from simple assault. In the state of Texas, assault is defined under Section 22.01 of the Penal Code as:

  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing physical harm to another person
  • Intentionally or knowingly threatening someone else with physical injury, or
  • Touching another person in a way that could be considered offensive or provocative.

Aggravated assault encompasses these same conditions but with the added enhancement of causing serious bodily harm to the victim or the use or display of a deadly weapon. Serious bodily injury includes any injury that could be considered life-threatening or results in serious permanent disfigurement; loss of function of any bodily limb or organs; or death.

What Are the Punishments for Aggravated Assault in Texas?

The penalties for aggravated assault vary based on the circumstances of the incident. Under Section 22.02 of the Penal Code, aggravated assault is automatically classified as a second degree felony, unless certain other conditions exist. An aggravated assault may qualify as a first degree felony if:

  • The defendant causes serious bodily injury to a family member and used or displayed a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.
  • The defendant knowingly assaults a public servant during the commission of their official duties.
  • The assault occurs as a retaliatory strike against or on account of another individual serving as a witness or informant.
  • The defendant knowingly assaults a security guard while the officer is on duty.
  • The defendant discharges a firearm while inside a motor vehicle at either a building or a person, causing serious bodily harm.

I. Criminal Penalties

If charged with aggravated assault in the second degree, Section 12.33 of the Texas Penal Code prescribes a minimum prison term of 2 two years, with a maximum of up to 20 years. In addition to imprisonment, you may also face a fine of up to $10,000.

In cases of first degree felony aggravated assault, the minimum prison term increases to 5 years, with the possibility of a maximum of life in prison. Additionally, you may also be required to pay a $10,000 fine.

The use of a deadly weapon, your relationship to the victim and the extent of the injuries sustained by the victim typically determine whether aggravated assault is charged as a first or second degree felony in the state of Texas. If your case is treated as a domestic violence incident, you may also be subject to additional restrictions, including the imposition of a protective order and a restriction on your ability to own a gun or obtain a firearm license.

II. Civil Penalties

Beyond the criminal penalties for aggravated assault, you may also face civil penalties. The victim or their family members may choose to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against you, seeking compensation for medical bills, lost wages, funeral expenses if necessary and pain and suffering. The trial judge may also require you to pay restitution to the victim if convicted.

What Are the Defense to an Aggravated Assault Charge?

While your Fort Bend County criminal defense lawyer can help you to establish the strongest defense for your case, there are a number of arguments that may be used to fight aggravated assault charges. For example, your attorney may argue that:

  • No physical injury was inflicted on the alleged victim
  • The victim's injuries were the result of actions other than an assault
  • You had no way of knowing that your alleged actions would be constructed as provocative or offensive
  • You had no way of knowing that the alleged victim was a public servant, security guard or other public official
  • The assault was committed in self defense
  • The alleged victim was complicit in causing the injuries
  • You threatened or assaulted another individual to prevent them from harming someone else

Choosing the right defense is key to fighting an aggravated assault charge and may enable you to get the charges reduced or eliminated altogether.

What Should I Do If I’m Charged With Aggravated Assault?

If you’ve been arrested or charged with aggravated assault in the Fort Bend County area, your first step should be contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. The law office of Lee D. Cox specializes in assisting individuals who have been charged with aggravated assault and other felonies in defending their rights.

As a former prosecutor, Lee is experienced in navigating the complexities of the Texas legal system and he is committed to aggressively defending his clients against unfair charges. He will work diligently to prove your innocence and restore your good name. In cases where a conviction is likely, he will work on your behalf to get the charges lowered and/or negotiate a reduced sentence.

Call Lee D. Cox today at 281-762-7345 to schedule an appointment for your initial case evaluation. A criminal conviction on aggravated assault can have long-lasting repercussions that can negatively impact your life for years to come. Call Lee now to get the expert legal representation you need for your Fort Bend County aggravated assault case.

20+ Years of Experience in Criminal Defense

I began my career with the District Attorney's office and have been in private practice focusing on criminal defense in Fort Bend and surrounding counties since 2002.

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