Aggravated Assault Texas

What is Aggravated Assault in Texas?

This is a serious Texas crime that is punishable as a 1st or 2nd Degree Felony depending on the circumstances. The crime involves the commission of an assault that causes serious bodily injury to the victim or during the commission of an assault, the actor exhibits a deadly weapon.

What is an Assault?

An actor commits and assault if he or she intentionally knowingly or recklessly:

  • Causes bodily injury to another.
  • Threatens another with imminent bodily injury.

Or intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the actor knows or should reasonably believe that the person will regard it as offensive or provocative.

What is Serious Bodily Injury?

‘Serious bodily’ injury is described as 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.

In any case, ‘serious bodily injury’ is more than ‘bodily injury,’ which is described as physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.

What is a Deadly Weapon?

A deadly weapon can be one of two categories. It can be a deadly weapon that is manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting death or serious bodily injury. Or something can be a deadly weapon by its manner of use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. The particular use of the object must be capable of causing death or serious injury to be considered a deadly weapon.

What are Some Examples of Deadly Weapons?

  • Axe handle
  • Baseball bat
  • Bayonet
  • BB gun
  • Belt buckle
  • Board
  • Bottle
  • Club
  • Drugs
  • Dustpan
  • Fire
  • Firearm
  • Flashlight
  • Floor
  • Foot
  • Gasoline
  • Glass decantor
  • Hammer
  • Hand
  • Hiv-positive person
  • Intense light
  • Knife
  • Mixture of sedatives
  • Motor vehicle
  • Nailgun
  • Nunchakus
  • Pillow
  • Rope
  • Scissors
  • Screwdriver
  • Seminal fluid
  • Shank
  • Spear
  • Stick
  • Straight razor
  • Underpants
  • Unknown object
  • Utility truck bucket
  • Water (hot)

Is Aggravated Assault a 1st or 2nd Degree Felony?

Aggravated assault is a 2nd-degree felony punishable by 2-20 years in prison. Also, there could be a fine of up to $10,000. Aggravated assault is a 1st-degree felony some additional factors are met. It is punishable by 5-99 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The additional factors creating a 1st degree Aggravated Assault are as follows:

  • Use of a deadly causing serious bodily injury to another in a dating relationship with the actor, family member or household member.
  • By a public servant acting under color of the servant’s office or employment.
  • Against a person the actor knows is a public servant discharging official duties or retaliating against a public servant because of the exercise of the servant’s official duties.
  • In retaliation against and for the service of a witness, informant, or person who reported a crime.
  • Against a person the actor knows is a security officer while performing security officer duties.
  • Knowingly discharging a firearm, while in a motor vehicle, at or in the direction of a habitation, building, or vehicle. And is reckless as to whether the habitation, building, or vehicle is occupied, and caused serious bodily injury to a person.

There is a presumption that the actor knew that the person assaulted was a security officer or public servant if the person was wearing a distinctive uniform or badge showing that the person was employed as a public servant or security officer.

If an actor is granted community supervision and it is proven that the defendant used a deadly weapon, the judge may order some extra stipulations. On an affirmative finding of a deadly weapon, the judge may order the defendant to serve from 60-120 days in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The defendant or the judge may ask that the defendant be released after the 60th day served. Or the department shall release the defendant to community supervision on the 120th day.

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Author: Eric Torberson

Eric Torberson is a licensed attorney in Texas as well as licensed in the federal courts of the southern and western districts of Texas.