Texas defines aggravated assault as intentionally or recklessly causing serious bodily harm to another person. This includes using a deadly weapon while committing an assault crime, threatening another person with bodily injury, or acting in a way that the victim would likely find offensive.
What is Considered a Deadly Weapon in Texas?
Aggravated assaults can involve deadly weapons, which different states classify in their own ways. Texas identities a deadly weapon as a firearm or tool made to inflict serious bodily injury or death. Anything used or intended to be used to cause serious bodily injury or death is also considered a deadly weapon.
The weapon doesn’t have to be used for the crime to be classified as an aggravated assault. Pointing a weapon at another person or harming someone with a non-firearm weapon such as a knife or blunt object while engaging in dangerous conduct.
Other items that Texas classifies as deadly weapons include:
- Explosive weapons
- Brass knuckles
- Zip gums
- Chemical dispenser
Degrees of Aggravated Assault
In Texas, aggravated assault is classified as a first or second-degree felony, depending on the circumstances of the crime.
The crime is considered a first-degree felony if the offender uses a deadly weapon to commit the assault and in the process causes bodily injury to a household or family member, partner, or a public servant.
Deadly misconduct is considered a class a misdemeanor or third-degree felony depending on how the assault was committed. If a weapon discharges, then the offense is considered a third-degree felony.
First degree felonies also apply to assaults where the offender knows the victim is a public service and knowingly assaults them, the victim is a witness to a crime, or the offender shoots from a motor vehicle at someone’s house.
Penalties for Aggravated Assault and Deadly Misconduct
Someone convicted of committing aggravated assault could face these penalties in Texas:
- If found guilty of a first-degree felony, you could face 5-99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- If found guilty of a second-degree felony, you could face 2-20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Deadly misconduct charges in Texas come with the following penalties:
- If found guilty of a Class A Misdemeanor, you could face up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
- If found guilty of a third-degree felony, you could face 2-10 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
If a person has any prior convictions, that could increase the penalties or prison times. Aggravated assault can also become a manslaughter charge if a victim dies because of injuries sustained during an assault.
While it’s essential to know the potential penalties for certain crimes, don’t rely on internet advice when it comes to legal advice for your case.
If you’re facing aggravated assault charges in Houston, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you make your case. Contact Christopher T. Gore for help understanding your options and information about how he can help you achieve the best outcome possible.