Violent offenses against another person via assault and the punishments that accompany these offenses are defined in the penal code of the state of Texas under Chapter 22.02 – Aggravated Assault.
Many factors come into play when determining whether your offense under Texas Penal Code Ch 22.02 – Aggravated Assault will be charged as a felony of the second degree or a felony of the first degree. Our criminal defense lawyer’s insight can work toward your benefit in constructing a defense. Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg at (214) 696-9253 for a free consultation.
How Texas Penal Code Defines Assault
According to Texas Penal Code Ch 22.02 – Aggravated Assault, you can be charged with assault if you intentionally do one of the following:
- cause physical injury to another person or their spouse
- threaten another person or their spouse with physical injury
- make physical contact with a person knowing that the contact will be perceived as “offensive or provocative”
How Aggravated Assault Differs From Assault
An assault of another person will be regarded as an aggravated assault if your actions match the conditions described above, and they also either cause serious bodily injury or involve the use of a deadly weapon. These terms are defined within Texas Penal Code Title 1 Chapter 1.
Serious Bodily Injury
Texas statutes define serious bodily injury as any physical injury that causes a “substantial” risk of death, causes death, causes serious permanent disfigurement, or results in the loss or impairment of any bodily function.
If you used a firearm or any other device that is designed and manufactured or modified for the sole purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death, or if you used an object that can be used effectively to cause death or serious bodily injury, your assault charge involves the use of a deadly weapon.
When either of the above elements factors into your committing an assault, you can be charged with aggravated assault.
If you would like to discuss the Texas Penal Code Ch 22.02-Aggravated Assault charge placed against you, call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at (214) 696-9253 for a free consultation.
How an Aggravated Assault Is Classified in Texas
Texas Penal Code Ch 22.02 – Aggravated Assault classifies any aggravated assault as a felony of varying degrees, depending upon certain circumstances of the offense.
A Felony of the Second Degree
Texas generally classifies aggravated assault as a felony of the second degree. If you are convicted, you will face a prison sentence of 2 to 20 years and a fine of as much as $10,000.
Circumstances That Elevate Aggravated Assault to a Felony of the First Degree
When an aggravated assault is committed in certain contexts, the offense is classified as a felony of the first degree, with the offender facing correspondingly stronger penalties and punishment. Your aggravated assault offense will be elevated to a first-degree felony if any of the following are true:
- The assault is against a member of your family.
- The assault is against your spouse, former spouse, someone you are dating, or someone you used to date.
- The assault is against a member of your household, regardless of whether you are related.
- You commit the assault while you are operating as a public servant.
- You commit the assault against someone you know is a public servant, during the course of their work in that capacity, or in retaliation for some official, lawful exercise of their role as a public servant.
- You commit the crime against a witness or informant in retaliation for their role in this capacity.
- You knowingly assault a security officer who is on duty ( 1702.222)
- You are in a motor vehicle and fire a gun at home, building, or other motor vehicles, without regard for whether it is occupied, and in so doing, cause serious bodily injury to another person.
- You assaulted a public servant or security officer who was in uniform or badge.
Penalty and Punishment for Felony of the First Degree
In Texas, the consequences for a first-degree felony include five to 99 years or life in prison. You will also be fined up to $10,000. Felony cases are tried in a district court. First-degree felonies are automatically appealed to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
A Lawyer To Defend You Against Aggravated Assault Charges
The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can craft a sound defense strategy for you using the knowledge that attorney Randall B. Isenberg has gained during his more than 30 years as a prosecutor and a state district judge.
Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at (214) 696-9253 for a free case review and consultation.