The phrase “bodily injury” that is used in the Texas state assault law is very broad definition and applies to a wide range of incidents, but aggravated generally involves either serious bodily injury or exhibition of a deadly weapon. These factors are far less subjective but their relation to an assault offense can result in aggravated assault charges that carry far more serious penalties.
Aggravated assault is considered a violent crime in Texas, and a conviction not only carries the risk of a very lengthy prison sentence. Even when people are fortunate enough to avoid lifelong prison sentences, they often have little to no hope of finding work or housing because of aggravated assault convictions on their criminal records.
Were you or your loved one recently arrested for an alleged aggravated assault in the greater Plano area? You are going to want to be sure that you have the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Texas Penal Code § 22.01 establishes that a person commits the offense of assault if they:
● intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to another person, including the alleged offender's spouse;
● intentionally or knowingly threaten another person with imminent bodily injury, including the alleged offender's spouse; or
● intentionally or knowingly cause physical contact with another person when the alleged offender knows or should reasonably believe that the other person will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.
Under Texas Penal Code § 22.02(a), a person commits aggravated assault if they commit an assault and:
● cause serious bodily injury to another person, including the alleged offender's spouse; or
● use or exhibit a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.
Bodily injury is defined under Texas Penal Code § 1.07(8) as including physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition. Texas Penal Code § 1.07(46) defines serious bodily injury as meaning bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
Texas Penal Code § 22.02(b) establishes that aggravated assault is a second-degree felony, but the crime becomes a first-degree felony if:
● the alleged offender uses a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault and causes serious bodily injury to a person whose relationship to or association with the defendant is described by Texas Family Code § 71.0021(b) (dating relationship), Texas Family Code §71.003 (family, which includes individuals related by consanguinity or affinity, individuals who are former spouses of each other, individuals who are the parents of the same child, without regard to marriage, and a foster child and foster parent, without regard to whether those individuals reside together.), or Texas Family Code § 71.005 (household, meaning a unit composed of persons living together in the same dwelling, without regard to whether they are related to each other);
● the offense is committed by a public servant acting under color of the servant's office or employment,against a person the actor knows is a public servant while the public servant is lawfully discharging an official duty, or in retaliation or on account of an exercise of official power or performance of an official duty as a public servant, in retaliation against or on account of the service of another as a witness, prospective witness, informant, or person who has reported the occurrence of a crime, or against a person the actor knows is a security officer while the officer is performing a duty as a security officer; or
● The alleged offender is in a motor vehicle and knowingly discharges a firearm at or in the direction of a habitation, building, or vehicle, is reckless as to whether the habitation, building, or vehicle is occupied, and, in discharging the firearm, causes serious bodily injury to any person.
● Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000
● First-Degree Felony — Up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000
When a person is charged with aggravated assault based on serious bodily injury, one defense could be whether the injury was truly serious. Some people are charged with causing serious bodily injury when the actual injury does not satisfy the state definition of the term.
If an aggravated assault charge is based on the exhibition of a deadly weapon, you might have a defense if the alleged weapon also does not satisfy the state definition. Self-defense is another common defense in many aggravated assault cases.
Victim Assistance | Collin County DA — The Collin County Criminal District Attorney's Victim Assistance Division educates crime victims about the criminal justice process and provides information about the social service agencies that can best handle their particular needs. The agency also has Victim Services FAQ and Victims Resources pages. You can also learn about the TEXAS VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) program.
National Center for Victims of Crime — This mission of this national non-profit organization is “to forge a national commitment to help victims of crime rebuild their lives.” It is dedicated to serving individuals, families, and communities harmed by crime. Find information about options for victims, victims’ rights, and crime victim compensation.
If you or your loved one were arrested for an alleged aggravated assault in Plano or another community in Collin County, try not to explain yourself to police until you have a lawyer. Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy right away.
Our firm understands the best ways to approach these cases so clients can achieve the most favorable possible outcomes. We will explore all of your legal options as soon as you call (469) 304-3422 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.