When someone causes, threatens, or recklessly places another person at risk of severe bodily injury in Texas, they may face aggravated assault charges. Individuals who receive aggravated assault charges may suffer serious penalties, including expensive fines and prison time. If you’re arrested under aggravated assault, you still have time to challenge the accusation and evidence. An arrest doesn’t mean you immediately face charges; you still can argue for your innocence and reduction of possible penalties with the help of experienced legal representation.
Sophia C. Martinez has over 25 years of experience defending San Antonio clients. She provides professional legal representation in both English and Spanish so that you may communicate your concerns in either language. With tailored legal services specific to your needs, you can feel confident in our team to protect and fight for your rights. Contact our team as soon as possible to start developing your defense today.
Assault vs. Aggravated Assault in San Antonio, Texas
In Texas, there are different types of assault charges: assault and aggravated assault. To determine the best defense strategy for your case, you’ll first need to understand the difference between the two and clearly define what penalties you’re facing.
Texas law defines assault as someone intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another. People may also face assault charges if they intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause physical contact with another when the person knew or should reasonably believe the contact will be regarded as offensive or provocative. Some examples of both include:
- Poking someone’s chest in the middle of an argument
- Forcing oneself into someone else’s personal space
- Brushing up against an individual in a non-consensual sexual manner
- Punching or hitting someone
When the offense only involves offensive contact, a person may face a Class C misdemeanor and suffer a maximum fine of $500 and other minor penalties. However, if it involves assault, the person will face a higher-level Class A misdemeanor with punishment that can result in up to a $4000 fine and up to a year in the county jail.
For an offense to classify as aggravated assault, the following two factors must be present:
- Serious bodily injury: Classified as a long-term injury that requires extensive medical care and treatment, serious bodily injuries include broken bones, disfigurement, or permanent disabilities.
- Deadly weapon: A deadly weapon is any object used to cause serious injury or death. While most immediately think of firearms, knives, and other similar objects, anything used with the intent to inflict devastating harm may be considered a deadly weapon.
Aggravated assault is usually charged as a second-degree felony. However, if the act involves domestic violence, the assault may evolve into a first-degree felony with possible life imprisonment. Your lawyer will understand your case’s potential threats and explain your best legal options.
What Are the Penalties for Aggravated Assault in Texas?
Aggravated assault is always charged as a felony due to the severity of the offense. However, there are various degrees that aggravated assault may fall under. The average aggravated assault charge falls under a second-degree felony, where a person may face up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
For an aggravated assault to classify as a first-degree felony, the offense must fall under the following circumstances:
- There is domestic violence involved in the assault, which causes serious bodily injury to the victim
- The offender is a public servant or commits an aggravated assault against a public servant
- The offender retaliates with aggravated assault against an informant, witness, or someone who reports a crime
- The offender negligently disregards the proximity of potential victims and shoots a firearm from a motor vehicle at another motor vehicle, house, or building
Penalties for a first-degree felony carry five to 99 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. If the case involves domestic violence, the charge carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Why It’s Important to Have Qualified Representation
Without an experienced San Antonio aggravated assault lawyer representing you in legal proceedings, you risk losing your rights and suffering severe penalties. The unfamiliar terminology and complex processes will seem overwhelming and frustrating without someone to navigate you through the legal system. Your lawyer has the knowledge and resources to develop a solid defense strategy and gather the necessary evidence to prove your innocence or reduce the potential punishments.
Not only will a felony charge cause legal punishments, but also societal problems and the loss of your rights. A felony charge will significantly harm potential job prospects, home ownership, and the ability to retain certain professional licenses. With a professional San Antonio aggravated assault attorney your side, you can trust that they’ll provide you with the best possible outcome for your case.
Contact Sophia C. Martinez for an Experienced San Antonio Aggravated Assault Lawyer
Former Assistant District Attorney Sophia C. Martinez has over 25 years of defending clients across Texas and offers her legal knowledge and experience to those needing dependable legal representation. Aggravated assault charges are serious and will impact and alter your life. You may suffer harsh and unfair penalties without someone to represent and guide you through the process.