Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Texas is a serious criminal offense, defined under Texas Penal Code §22.02. This crime involves intentionally and knowingly causing serious bodily harm or using or displaying a deadly weapon during an assault. The law categorizes it primarily as a second-degree felony. However, it can count as a first-degree felony under certain circumstances. For example, if the assault is committed against a public servant or security officer, in retaliation against a witness, or if it involves domestic violence.
What are the types of aggravated assault in Texas?
The types of aggravated assault with deadly weapon charges in Texas include:
- Standard aggravated assault: This involves committing an assault and concurrently using or displaying a deadly weapon.
- Aggravated assault by threat: This occurs when a person threatens someone else while exhibiting a deadly weapon.
- Assault resulting in serious bodily injury: This charge involves an assault that leads to significant physical harm.
- Aggravated assault from a vehicle: If a person shoots from a vehicle toward a structure or vehicle and causes serious injury, it's charged under this category, where intent to harm isn't necessary but reckless behavior is sufficient.
What does Texas law consider a deadly weapon?
In Texas, a "deadly weapon" is defined as anything that is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. This definition is broad and can include a wide range of objects, including:
- Firearms: Texas law considers any type of gun a deadly weapon.
- Knives: Certain types of knives, particularly those with blades over a certain length or designed for fighting, can be classified as deadly weapons.
- Blunt objects: Bats, crowbars, or other heavy or blunt instruments can be considered deadly weapons if used in a way that is intended to cause serious harm.
- Explosives: Any form of explosive device is generally considered a deadly weapon.
- Other objects: In certain circumstances, everyday objects can be classified as deadly weapons if they are used or intended to be used in a way that could cause death or serious injury. This can include things like cars, ropes, or even heavy rocks.
- Hands and boots: Believe it or not, your hands or boots can also be considered deadly weapons, depending on their use and the degree to which they're used.
What constitutes serious bodily injury in Texas?
Texas law considers "serious bodily injury" as any of the following:
- Substantial risk of death: An injury that puts the victim at significant risk of dying, either immediately or as a consequence of the injury.
- Serious permanent disfigurement: Injuries that result in lasting and significant disfigurement, such as severe burns, deep lacerations, or other wounds that significantly alter a person's appearance.
- Protracted loss or impairment: Injuries that lead to a long-term or permanent loss of function or impairment of any part of the body. This can include injuries to limbs, organs, or the brain, affecting mobility, cognitive abilities, or other bodily functions.
What are the legal consequences of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Texas?
The general legal consequences for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Texas include:
- Prison sentence: For a second-degree felony, a prison sentence ranges from 2 to 20 years. For a first-degree felony, a sentence ranges from 5 to 99 years or life in prison.
- Fines: In addition to prison time, this offense often results in fines of up to $10,000.
- Probation and community supervision: In some cases, the court will impose probation or community supervision. These conditions typically include counseling, community service, and regular check-ins with a probation officer.
- Criminal record: A conviction for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon results in a permanent criminal record. This affects future employment opportunities, the right to own firearms, voting rights, and other aspects of life.
- Restitution: The court sometimes orders offenders to pay restitution to victims. This covers medical expenses, counseling, property damage, and other associated costs.
What defense do I have for an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge?
Defending against an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge requires specific conditions to be met. For example, you must prove self-defense, defense of others, lack of intent, mistaken identity, insanity, or coercion.
Additionally, Texas law provides alternatives to incarceration through court-imposed conditions. This usually includes deferred adjudication or community supervision and probation. In cases where the evidence doesn’t fully support the criteria of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, charges might be reduced to a lesser offense, such as disorderly conduct.
Having your charges dropped or reduced in Texas, isn't easy, however. Without adequate evidence that proves your innocence, you could face long and harsh consequences. A Texas criminal defense attorney at The Webb Firm, P.C. can devise a legal strategy to help you achieve the outcome your case deserves. We serve clients in Conroe and throughout Montgomery County. To arrange a free consultation, simply contact us online or call one of our law offices in Conroe or Galveston.