Per Texas law, Aggravated Assault is a second-degree felony offense. There are two likely fact patterns that lead to an aggravated assault charge. One fact pattern stems from an allegation that the person accused used or exhibited a deadly weapon against another individual. The second typical scenario that can lead to an aggravated assault charge is when an assaultive offense occurs and the victim sustains a Serious Bodily Injury.
Serious Bodily Injury is defined as any injury that can cause death, anatomical disfigurement, loss of a bodily function that was operational prior to the assault, any permanent injuries, permanent or long term impairment, and injury to any bodily organs.
Punishment Range for Aggravated Assault
SECOND DEGREE FELONY
A person charged with Aggravated Assault could face prosecution for a felony of the second degree under Texas law. The potential punishment range includes a maximum fine of up to $10,000.00 and/or a potential prison term that can range from 2 to 20 years. It should be noted that if the individual charge is eligible for probation, a jury or a judge could impose a probated sentence. Similarly, a deferred adjudication may be given as a form of punishment in a deserving case.
1ST DEGREE FELONY
Under some circumstances, an Aggravated Assault charge can be enhanced to a First Degree Felony offense. A first-degree felony can be punished by a prison term of no less than 5 years and no more than 99 years or life imprisonment. Some examples of enhanced aggravated assault charges include instances where the offense was committed against a public servant while serving in that capacity.
Potential Defense Strategies
A person charged with Aggravated Assault may very well be able to benefit from proven defense strategies. An able and experienced criminal defense lawyer will explore all available defenses to the serious allegations of aggravated assault. Criminal defense attorney Christian Capitaine has successfully defended many clients over the years charged with aggravated assault.
As with any criminal case, a strategy has to be developed after a full investigation has concluded. A benefit of raising the issue of self-defense is that once it is raised, the State of Texas has to disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, if the jury has a reasonable doubt as to the issue of whether the accused was acting in self-defense, the judge will instruct the jury to find the person accused not guilty.
EXAMPLE 1: DEFENSE OF A THIRD PARTY
One way of successfully defeating an aggravated assault charge is to raise the defense of a third party.
For example, if a person reasonably believes that an innocent third party is being threatened with serious bodily injury or death by someone, then the use or threat to use deadly force may very well be justified. In this way, the using or exhibiting of a deadly weapon in order to defend an innocent third party who was defenseless against the aggressor is justified.
EXAMPLE 2: SELF-DEFENSE
Another instance where the use or threat to use deadly force is justified is where the actor was acting in self-defense. Predictably, if someone pulled a gun and pointed it at you, and you would be allowed and justified in using deadly force or exhibiting a deadly weapon against that person. It is always imperative to remember that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Attorney Capitaine Is Here To Help
There are a number of ways we can serve you if you’ve been charged with aggravated assault, regardless of your guilt or innocence. For over 15 years attorney Christian Capitaine has worked with courtroom personnel, improved his segment of the criminal defense bar, and stood up for his clients.
If you were accused of an assaultive criminal offense in Houston, and you’re looking for an attorney who will take your situation seriously and not hand you off to a lesser lawyer, contact attorney Christian Capitaine immediately. Get the help you need today. Call our law firm.