Aggravated Assault Defense in Fort Bend, TX
Explanation of Assault with a Deadly Weapon
While assault in and of itself is a serious criminal charge that should not be taken lightly, there are circumstances where it can become even more severe. Per Texas Penal Code §22.02, assault can become "aggravated" in several situations; for example, when the defendant does the following:
- Causes serious bodily injury to another; and
- Uses or shows a deadly weapon during the assault.
Often referred to as "assault with a deadly weapon" (AWDW), this is typically a second-degree felony. A felony of the second degree is punishable by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for a term that could last between two and twenty years, along with a maximum fine of $10,000. In some cases, aggravated assault can be a first-degree felony; for example, if committed against a public servant acting under color of the office or employment, or in retaliation to him or her exercising their power.
Other examples of first-degree felonies include when the defendant retaliates against a witness, prospective witness, informant, or someone reporting a crime. Finally, it can be a first-degree felony if the assault is committed by someone who is in a motor vehicle and knowingly discharges a firearm recklessly either a) disregarding whether a habitation, building is occupied, or b) causing bodily injury. First-degree felonies have harsher penalties, including imprisonment for life, or for a term between 5 and 99 years.
What is aggravated sexual assault?
In some cases, aggravated assault can become a sex crime. Per §22.011 of the Texas Penal Code, sexual assault can be charged when a person intentionally penetrates the anus, sexual organ, or mouth of another without consent; it can also mean causing another person's sexual organ to contact or penetrate another person without consent, including the alleged defendant. Under certain circumstances, outlined under §22.021, this can be elevated to aggravated sexual assault, including when the defendant:
- Causes serious bodily injury or attempts to cause the victim's death;
- Causes the victim to fear death, serious bodily injury or kidnapping;
- Threatens that another person will be injured, killed or kidnapped;
- Either uses or shows a deadly weapon during the assault;
- Acts together with another person committing an assault;
- Sexually assaults a victim who is younger than 14, is elderly, or is disabled; or
- Administers a drug such as flunitrazepam, gamma hydroxybutyrate, or ketamine.
This is considered a felony of the first degree and carries the same penalties that are explained above. If the victim is younger than six, the minimum imprisonment term is 25 years.
Aggressive Fort Bend County Criminal Defense Attorney
Have you been criminally charged with aggravated assault? If so, you need serious defense that you can trust. While any assault charge is a serious matter, certain aggravating factors may lead to the charges being enhanced, increasing the penalties for a conviction. The courts in Fort Bend and Sugar Land take violent crimes seriously and the prosecutor is likely to seek the highest possible penalty. You have far too much at stake to take any chances with the outcome of this situation. Contact me at any time of day or night for compassionate legal counsel and hard-hitting defense!