Getting charged with assault can be scary. But an assault charge is a Class A misdemeanor, or lower, and so the penalties that you face for assault are up to a year of imprisonment and a fine of up to $4,000.
Aggravated assault is much worse.
Aggravated assault is charged as a second-degree felony or higher. This means that the penalties for aggravated assault are far and beyond more serious than those for simple assault. The consequences for aggravated assault are:
- You could be facing between two to twenty years in prison. In addition to this, you would also have to pay a fine of up to $10,000.
- If the aggravated assault was committed against somebody in your family, somebody in your household, somebody you were seeing romantically, a security officer, a public servant, a witness who may testify against you, or an informant who may testify against you then in Texas the aggravated assault is charged as a first-degree felony. This means that you would be facing 99 years to life imprisonment.
What Separates Simple Assault From Aggravated Assault?
To understand aggravated assault you must first know what constitutes a simple assault. Simple assault occurs when:
- You intentionally or recklessly cause another person to suffer some form of physical harm
- You intentionally threaten another person with harm to their body
- You intentionally make physical contact with another person in a manner that is meant to be provocative or offensive
This can be upgraded to aggravated assault when there is an escalation of the danger represented by your actions. More information is found under Texas Penal Code Section 22.02 but what it comes down to is that aggravated assault occurs when The conditions for a simple assault charge as met and:
- The assault ended in the victim suffering serious bodily injury
- The assault includes the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon
Note that for an assault to be an aggravated assault it only needs to have one, not both, of these criteria met. But it is also extremely common to find aggravated assault charges as only one of a litany of charges against a person because the nature of what upgrades a simple assault into an aggravated assault also could leave you open to charges that you’ve broken gun laws or committed battery in the process of committing the aggravated assault.
What Should I Do If I’m Charged with Aggravated Assault in Texas?
A charge of aggravated assault could see you facing life in prison and that’s not something you can afford to take lightly. The best action you can take is to acquire the services of an experienced attorney quickly so that there is plenty of time available for them to work on your defense before your trial.
If you are looking for an attorney with experience fighting against aggravated assault charges in Texas then you’ve come to the right place. Wilder Law Firm is dedicated to helping people facing charges like yours and we’re always happy to hear about your situation to offer advice and fight for your freedom.