Being charged with assault in Texas means you have recklessly or knowingly caused physical injury to another person. You could also be charged with assault if you create another person to fear you may cause them bodily harm. Examples of simple assault vary widely and include swinging your fist at someone but not hitting them, throwing a beverage at someone and spitting on another person.
What Is Considered Aggravated Assault in Texas?
Aggravated assault can be a second-degree felony in Texas. Depending on your case, you might get by with a few days in jail for an assault conviction; however, you could be looking at jail time if you are found guilty of the charge.
Texas Penal Code 46.01 defines weapons that cause serious physical injuries or death. If you use one or more of the following weapons and severely harm an individual, you may likely be arrested for aggravated assault:
- Chemical dispensing devices
- Short-barrel firearm/handgun/machine gun
- Clubs, nightsticks and tomahawks
- Daggers, swords, Bowie knives, spears
Be aware that you do not need to use a weapon to be charged with aggravated assault. Punching and kicking someone enough to cause severe or life-threatening injuries (broken bones, head trauma, massive bleeding, internal injuries) will likely result in an aggravated assault charge.
Talk to a Criminal Lawyer Today
If you or someone you know has been charged with assault or aggravated assault, the Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas (LRS) in Austin can quickly put you in touch with an Austin criminal defense attorney. Call Austin LRS as soon as possible to connect with the best lawyer for representing your assault case.
Charged or Accused With Aggravated Assault?
Committing a second-degree felony in Texas can end with a judge sentencing the defendant with prison time. However, you may be able to minimize penalties by doing the following:
- Police will encourage you to talk about your crime, but it is best to remain compliant and quiet during the arrest. Keep at a minimum when corresponding with law enforcement. Consult a criminal defense attorney immediately, and let the attorney communicate with the police and the courts.
- Avoid disobeying orders, hiding contraband, stealing, and fighting if you are awaiting trial in jail. Establishing a bad reputation (which jail officers will testify to) will look negative on your character.
- Consider what consequences you are willing to accept. The criminal defense attorney will discuss what these options may look like during your consult with them.
What to Expect When Charged With Assault
Once an Austin criminal defense lawyer is hired for an assault, defendants will initially appear in court with their attorney. During this court appearance, the Judge will read the complaint and case report (discovery). Arraignments involve the defendant’s attorney entering a plea of not guilty. The attorney will also argue for your release until trial and/or request a bail reduction if it is available.
The date for a preliminary hearing setting is then scheduled, which allows the defendant’s attorney a chance to resolve the case through plea bargaining. If the situation is not resolved at this time, then another date is set for the preliminary hearing.
Preliminary hearings are hearings in which one will know if the Judge decides whether or not the defendant is guilty. The defendant, their attorney, and the district attorney (DA) are present at this hearing. At this time, the DA will present any evidence indicating there is a cause for the defendant to be convicted of the felony charge. Victims and witnesses may be called to the stand to tell their side of the story. The defendant’s attorney may cross-examine these witnesses to get charges reduced or dismissed possibly.
When You Need an Assault Lawyer, LRS Provides Immediate Assistance
Without an experienced attorney representing your assault or aggravated assault charge, you have the risk of serving the maximum jail time. Criminal attorneys in Austin, Texas, know the law and know how to represent you best.
Call Austin LRS today to be connected with an assault attorney who can begin representing you and your rights throughout the case.