In Texas, aggravated assault consists of intentionally or recklessly causing serious bodily injury to another individual. Threatening an individual with injury or engaging in conduct that a victim will find offensive can also constitute as aggravated assault. In fact, you can be charged with aggravated assault without ever hurting anyone. The simple threat alone is enough for an aggravated assault charge. What differentiates assault from aggravated assault is the use of a deadly weapon with the intent to cause serious bodily injury to another individual.
A deadly weapon is anything that has been specifically made to cause death or serious bodily harm to an individual. Firearms, for instance, always constitute as deadly weapons. This is true whether the firearm is loaded or not. Even regular objects that can used in such a way to cause death or bodily injury can constitute as deadly weapons. Pillows, for instance, may seem innocuous but they can be used as deadly tools to smother individuals. In the instance where an one threatens another with a deadly weapon (be it a firearm, baseball bat, vehicle, etc.), the charge will constitute as a second degree felony. The charge can escalate to first degree felony if the offense leads to serious bodily injury involving family or a spouse; was committed against a public servant or on-duty security officer; or if it was a drive-by shooting that resulted in bodily injury.
But what specifically is serious bodily injury? This term is legally defined as any type of bodily injury that creates the risk of death or causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss/impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ. It’s important to point out that there is no specific type of wound that always constitutes as serious bodily injury. Wounds caused by deadly weapons or wounds that require surgery may not necessarily constitute as serious bodily injuries. It all depends on the case.
Although most aggravated assault charges are defined as second degree felonies, they may be categorized as first degree felonies if the assault falls under certain circumstances. If the aggravated assault is committed by or against a public servant, for instance, the offender will face first degree felony charges. Penalties for second degree felonies include 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. First degree felony penalties include 5 to 99 years in prison as well as a fine up to $10,000. An aggravated assault conviction becomes part of the offender’s permanent criminal record. These types of convictions can make it difficult for individuals when they are searching for jobs or when attempting to rent a home or apartment.
Sergio Coronado Law has the knowledge necessary to determine if your charges can be dismissed. We have provided the El Paso area with excellent legal aid for nearly 30 years. This means we understand the local criminal court system which allows us to proceed with cases like yours smoothly and accordingly. We strive to protect your rights. Contact our team today to learn more about what we can do to help.