What is aggravated assault?
In Texas, assault is defined as carrying out an act where the intention of the act is to cause physical harm or to make someone believe that you intend to cause physical harm. The charge of simple assault is bumped up to an aggravated assault charge in certain circumstances. Under the Texas Penal Code those circumstances include situations where
- A person carries out an assault which results in serious injury
- A person carries out an assault where they use or display a deadly weapon while carrying out the assault.
In the normal run course of events aggravated assault charges are deemed to be second degree felonies with a likely prison sentence in the range between 2 years and 20. However under certain conditions, the aggravated assault charges can be escalated to felony charges in the first degree. Criminals found guilty of aggravated assault first degree felony charges can expect punitive sentences in a range between 5 and 99 years of incarceration.
The Role of the Criminal Defense Lawyer
Anyone who is charged with aggravated assault should engage an attorney promptly. The role of an criminal defense lawyer is to represent the best interests of the client, to provide advice on the Texas penal code and if required to prepare a legal defense. A criminal attorney will work closely with their client and the prosecutor to try to establish that the lesser charges apply.
Aggravated Assault Defenses
A Brazoria criminal law attorney can mount two types of defense in cases of aggravated assault. One option is where the evidence is disputed and the accused claims that the evidence which is presented by the State prosecutor is incorrect or factually untrue. In these defenses, the facts of the case are disputed by a criminal lawyer. The evidence is refuted and eye witness testimony is challenged.
Another option for defense in cases of aggravated assault charges is to use an affirmative defense. In this kind of defense the accused admits that the actions that the prosecutor alleges took place did happen. However the defense attorney argues that the actions were entirely legally justified as they were carried out in self-defense.
Self-defense is defined as the use of force to defend yourself or another from imminent harm and danger. Having provoked the other person would rule out a self-defense justification. Equally it is important that the self-defense claim will only work if the actions taken by the accused were proportionate to the level of threat posed by the other person.
If you were accused of an assaultive offense in Alvin, Angleton, or elsewhere in Brazoria County, TX, we recommend the Law Office of Sandra J. Oballe for legal service.