Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon is one of the most serious criminal offenses that a person can face. A conviction for aggravated assault comes with mandatory minimum sentences, and Texas courts are extremely aggressive during prosecution.
Although the circumstances are dire, they are not final. If you have been accused of or charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, you may still be able to clear your name by hiring an attorney who can build you an iron defense and fight for your rights in a court of law.
Mark Thiessen is an experienced and compassionate aggravated assault lawyer in Houston who wins tough cases. Don’t hire the lawyer with the biggest billboard, hire the lawyer who takes cases like yours to trial and wins them.
If you or a loved one has been charged with aggravated assault in Texas, call Thiessen Law Firm today at (713) 864-9000.
Mark Thiessen is a criminal defense all-star. If he can’t get you a win, nobody can.
I’ve worked with Mark and his team on two very different cases, and both times I’ve been blown away by the level of honesty, strategy, and respect that Thiessen Law Firm brings to the table…Posted by Adam, an Assault Client
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The laws on aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Texas
In order to properly define aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, we must first define aggravated assault.
Texas Penal Code § 22.02 defines an aggravated assault crime as “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly assault[ing] another person with an additional aggravating factor to the case such as serious bodily injury to another person.” There are essentially three reasons that a charge would be upgraded from assault to aggravated assault:
- Serious bodily injury resulted from the assault.
- Knowing and reckless behavior. This means that substantial and unjustifiable risk was posed by the act of assault.
- The use of a deadly weapon was commissioned during the assault.
So, assault with a deadly weapon is essentially one type of aggravated assault — but what counts as a deadly weapon? Texas Penal Code § 1.07(17) defines a deadly weapon as:
- A firearm or anything manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting death or serious bodily injury; or
- Anything that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.
If this language sounds vague to you, it’s because it is. The statutory definition is left incredibly broad in order to give the prosecution more power to make almost anything a deadly weapon. Essentially, if something is used as a deadly weapon, it is a deadly weapon in Texas.
What is the typical sentence for aggravated assault in Texas?
Is aggravated assault with a deadly weapon a felony in Texas? Yes. Assault with a deadly weapon is automatically charged as a second-degree felony in Texas, and can even be a first-degree felony charge. Aggravated assault charges are first-degree felonies under the following circumstances:
- You have a previous conviction for assault.
- You are accused of assaulting a dating partner or family member.*
- You are accused of assaulting an on-duty public servant or government official.
- You are accused of assaulting a witness of a crime or an informant in a criminal investigation.
- You are accused of assaulting an on-duty security guard or emergency worker.
Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon Texas sentence guidelines are as follows.
|Up to $10,000
|2 – 20 years
|Up to $10,000
|5 – 99 years
Although the penalties that you will face for an aggravated assault conviction depend upon the circumstances of your case, who you are accused of assaulting, and your previous criminal record, they will always be severe. A conviction for aggravated assault is life-altering, and difficult to overcome. Thiessen Law Firm has the best aggravated assault lawyers you can get and you can’t afford to hire anything less.
*Continue reading about assault and family violence in Texas.
Can you get probation for aggravated assault in Texas?
Generally, those convicted of aggravated assault ARE eligible for probation in Texas, as long as they are sentenced to less than 10 years for their crime.
However, if you are convicted of an aggravated assault crime that includes a deadly weapon in Texas, you will not be eligible for probation at all.
If your attorney can negotiate a lesser charge it is possible that you will be eligible for probation, but the overwhelming likelihood is that if you are charged with assault with a deadly weapon and are convicted, you won’t be getting probation. This is why it is so essential to fight for your freedom and avoid a conviction at all costs.
How to beat an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge
Wondering how to beat an assault charge in Texas? Beating any assault charge in Texas is a tall task, and going up against aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges are some of the toughest.
If you’re going to win, you’re going to need an attorney who specializes in taking cases to trial and arguing defenses in front of a judge or jury. Some cornerstones to aggravated assault defense strategies include:
- Self-defense. Self-defense is a very common reason for the use of a deadly weapon. Very seldom do people commission the use of a weapon when they aren’t provoked, and the justice system often heavily punishes retaliation over instigation.
- Defense of a third party or defense of property. If another party was in immediate danger or someone was attempting to invade your home/steal your property, your attorney will likely be able to build a solid defense.
- Lack of intent. Intent is essential in assault cases, and the prosecution must prove that the accused knowingly committed the assaultive offense to convict.
Remember, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. This is why working with a trial lawyer who understands how to highlight inconsistent stories, false witness statements, or a lack of evidence in the courtroom, is completely essential when trying to beat an aggravated assault charge.
Continue reading: What is a trial lawyer?
Charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon? Call Thiessen Law Firm today.
Because charges for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon are some of the most complex and severe charges that you can face, it is essential that you partner with an experienced attorney early in the process so that they can start building your defense.
All is not lost, but you’ve got to move quickly. Though the path seems daunting, your assault attorney in Houston should be your advocate and your lifeline, guiding you through the process of mounting the best defense possible for your freedom.
Whether you’re facing a first-time assault charge or your second charge for assault bodily injury in Texas, Mark Thiessen and the criminal lawyers at Thiessen Law Firm can help. Call Thiessen Law Firm today at (713) 864-9000 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.