Dallas Aggravated Assault Lawyer, Serving Dallas and Surrounding Areas
Did you know you could face up to 20 years in prison – even if it’s your first arrest – if you are charged with aggravated assault in Dallas? That’s because Texas law allows a prosecutor to charge you with a second-degree felony even if you haven’t physically hurt anyone. All it takes is pointing a knife, gun, or another deadly weapon at a person plus a threat.
If you have been arrested for aggravated assault, it’s imperative to speak with an experienced Dallas aggravated assault lawyer as soon as possible. The stakes are high, and you need someone on your side who knows the law and will fight to protect your future and your freedom.
The criminal defense lawyers at the Varghese Summersett have years of experience defending people charged with aggravated assault in Dallas and surrounding areas. In this article, we are going to explain aggravated assault in Texas, including punishment ranges and possible defenses. But first, Dallas Aggravated Assault Lawyer Benson Varghese gives an excellent explanation of this very serious charge in the video below.
What is aggravated assault in Texas?
Texas Penal Code Section 22.02 defines aggravated assault as:
1. Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing serious bodily injury to another person; or
2. Using or exhibiting a deadly weapon in the course of committing any assault crime, including threatening another with bodily injury or engaging in conduct that the victim will likely find offensive.
The second definition is what is commonly referred to as “aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.” Again, the big takeaway with the second definition of the charge is that no one has to be injured to be arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
What is considered a deadly weapon in Texas?
In Texas, a deadly weapon includes anything that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. This means your car could be considered a deadly weapon if you are engaging in conduct that the alleged victim will likely find offensive. Other examples of weapons could be a knife, gun, bat, boots, or even hands.
What’s the difference between serious bodily injury and bodily injury?
One of the biggest differences between serious bodily injury and bodily injury is the classification level. If you commit assault with “serious bodily injury” you are facing a felony, while “bodily injury” is a misdemeanor.
As you can see in the definition above, aggravated assault in Texas uses the term “serious bodily injury.” Serious bodily injury means creating a substantial risk of death or causing death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
Under Texas law for misdemeanor assault, the term “bodily injury” means showing that the alleged victim was hurt. In other words, the alleged victim could have bruises and scrapes, but as long as there is no “serious bodily injury,” the charge would remain a Class A misdemeanor.
What is the punishment for aggravated assault in Texas?
Most of the time, aggravated assault is a second-degree felony, which means you’re facing a minimum of two years in jail and a maximum of 20 years. You’re also looking at up to a $10,000 fine. However, probation is a possibility in many cases, especially if it’s a first offense.
What’s the difference between regular probation and deferred adjudication probation?
Even if convicted of aggravated assault, you could still be eligible for probation. Under regular probation, you would have a conviction on your record, and would have to complete the terms of your probation, which includes meeting monthly with your Dallas probation officer, paying monthly probation fees, and drug and alcohol tests.
In some cases, after a guilty plea in a Dallas County aggravated assault case, the Judge could place you on deferred adjudication probation. Unlike regular probation, once you successfully complete deferred adjudication probation, your case would be dismissed. That means no permanent record of a conviction.
If a deadly weapon was used in the assault, the chances of probation or deferred adjudication are less likely. It’s best to speak to your Dallas County aggravated assault lawyer who can explain all the possible scenarios stemming from the circumstances of your case.
Your aggravated assault charge could be reduced to a misdemeanor.
Sometimes aggravated assault cases are reduced to a misdemeanor. This means either the Dallas prosecutor cannot prove that you committed aggravated assault, or your lawyer worked out a deal so that you only have to plea to a misdemeanor.
For example, you might plead guilty to a misdemeanor assault or another misdemeanor, like disorderly contact, rather than an aggravated assault. Misdemeanor assault means (1) your actions caused bodily harm to another person; (2) you threatened bodily harm; or (3) your physical contact with another person was offensive. Disorderly conduct can be proved in several ways. Most of the time for your Dallas aggravated assault to be reduced to disorderly conduct, there must have been a mutual fight in a public place, or some other offensive conduct (vulgar language, offending gesture, or discharging a firearm).
Retain a successful Dallas aggravated assault lawyer today.
“Self Defense” is the most common defense to aggravated assault in Dallas. Under Texas law, you have the right to defend yourself from another’s use or attempted use of unlawful force. But your right to self-defense must be reasonable and immediately necessary to protect yourself from another’s use or attempted use of unlawful force. Our team will review the facts and circumstances of your case to determine if self defense is a possibility. However, there are a number of other defense strategies that can be applied to aggravated assault cases.
If you or a loved one is facing a charge of aggravated assault, contact our experienced attorneys today. We have helped hundreds of people charged with aggravated assault and we can help you too. We will work to obtain the most favorable outcome possible. We are proud to say that most of our most recent aggravated assault cases resulted in a dismissal or reduction in charges with deferred adjudication probation. Call 214-903-4000 today for a free consultation with a Dallas aggravated assault lawyer.