Crimes of assault and aggravated assault are serious business in the state of Texas. They are serious and violent crimes that can carry severe penalties and repercussions for the people who are convicted of these crimes. Fighting accusations or charges of assault can turn into an uphill battle if you don’t immediately get an experienced defense attorney backing you up. Waiting to find legal representation means that the situation can quickly escalate and slip out of your control. People may choose to wait to get legal representation because they are under the impression that retaining a lawyer will make them “look guilty.” In fact, gaining legal representation early is the best way to protect yourself and your legal rights.
At Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian we believe in keeping your best interests at heart. Our legal team will work with you to get a plan in place and begin to build your defense strategy. If you or a loved one is facing accusations or charges related to any form of assault in the McKinney area, the legal team at Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian is ready to review your case. Give us a call at (972) 369-0577 to schedule your complimentary case review.
What is the Difference Between Assault and Aggravated Assault?
The terms assault and aggravated assault get thrown around and used interchangeably. However, the legal definitions of assault and aggravated assault are very different, and being charged with one or the other can result in very different penalties under the law.
Assault is sometimes also referred to as simple assault. Under Texas law, the legal definition of assault boils down to knowingly or recklessly causing an injury to another person. You may also be charged with assault if you threaten another person with imminent harm. That means that technically, you can be charged with assault without even physically touching a person. Basic assault cases typically result in misdemeanor charges depending on the circumstances of the incident. In some cases, a person may face felony charges if the victim they assaulted is a public-servant, government employee, security personnel, or emergency services personnel.
In contrast, aggravated assault is typically a much more serious offense and is defined as knowingly or recklessly cause serious injury to another person or when using a deadly weapon to commit an assault crime. Threatening someone with bodily harm and exhibiting a weapon may also constitute aggravated assault. Breaking down the definition you come to find that aggravated assault boils down to there being at least one of two aggravating factors being present. The first is inflicting a serious bodily injury. This refers to long-term injuries that don’t necessarily have to be permanent but are considered serious. Injuries that fall into that category may include broken bones, internal damage, disability, scarring, or disfigurement.
The second of the aggravating factors include the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon. While the first image that comes to mind may be a gun or even a knife, they are not the only objects that can be considered deadly weapons. Legally, a deadly weapon can be anything from a metal pipe or rock to a baseball bat, or even a virus like HIV or AIDS. It depends on the circumstances in which the item is being used. When it comes to the crime of aggravated assault, depending on the situation, a person will either face a first-degree or a second-degree felony charge.
Penalties for Assault Crimes
The penalties that a person may face can vary drastically depending on the charge and the circumstances surrounding their case. In general, here is what you may be able to expect when it comes to penalties for assault and aggravated assault charges:
- Class A misdemeanor
- Assault that results in minor bodily harm
- Up to one year in jail and fines of up to $4,000
- Class A misdemeanor
- Class B misdemeanor
- Threatening an athlete or sports official during an event or in retaliation for an event
- Up to 180 days in jail and fines of up to $2,000
- Class C misdemeanor
- Threats or offensive contact without bodily harm inflicted
- Fines up to $500
- Class B misdemeanor
- Aggravated Assault
- First-degree felony
- Domestic violence cases involving a deadly weapon causing serious bodily harm
- 5 years to life in prison and fines up to $10,000
- First-degree felony
- Second-degree felony
- Serious bodily harm being inflicted but only threats of using a deadly weapon
- 2 to 20 years in prison and fines up to $10,000
- Second-degree felony
Fines and prison time aren’t the only penalties for assault in Texas. If a person is convicted of aggravated assault, they may also be forced to pay restitution to the victim. This may include reimbursing the victim for any expenses that were a direct result of the crime itself, such as medical treatment, counseling, and the cost to replace damaged property.
Why Do I need an Experienced Aggravated Assault Attorney?
Aggravated assault charges are aggressively prosecuted in the state of Texas, and a conviction for this type of crime results in serious punishments and repercussions. Not only can you face fines and prison time, but you also risk damage to your reputation and your future.
An aggravated assault charge on your criminal record could make gaining employment difficult and put your financial future in jeopardy. Attempting to secure credit, housing, or professional credentials may also be a challenge. Being convicted of this type of crime can also jeopardize your relationship with your family, children, and people who called themselves your friends. With so much at stake, you can’t afford to trust your defense strategy to just anyone; you need an attorney experienced at handling assault and especially aggravated assault cases.
There are several types of defense strategies that may come into play from self-defense, defense of others, and even defense of property. Other tactics may factor into a defense plan for your case as well. The only way to build a strong defense strategy is to get an experienced attorney on your side as soon as possible. An attorney needs to review the evidence and circumstances of your specific case in order to customize your defense.
Not only can a skilled attorney review the current evidence, but they may also be able to conduct an independent investigation that will yield new evidence that could work in your favor. A skilled attorney will also be able to review the policies and procedures used by law enforcement officials to ensure that your rights have not been violated. A violation of your rights or legal procedures could shift the direction of your case.
At Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian, our legal team has both the experience and the resources it takes to represent clients facing assault and aggravated assault charges. We understand that you are anxious and that your future is at stake. That’s why we work hard to protect your rights and clearly lay out all of your legal options.
What to Expect from a Trial?
The number one question that many people facing assault charges asks is if they will be forced to testify in court. Technically, you are not required to testify in your own defense. However, the answer may turn out to be more complicated than a simple no. It truly depends on the specifics of your case and whether your defense attorney thinks it could impact a jury in either a positive or negative way.
Prosecutors can be relentless in their cross-examination tactics. Yet, there may be circumstances where a defense attorney believes that your testimony adds value and insight into a case. An experienced defense lawyer will be able to review your situation and go over all your options before a case ever goes to trial. An experienced defense attorney will always take the time to listen to your fears and concerns and explain why testifying in your case may help your situation or not be necessary at all.
Contact a McKinney Aggravated Assault Defense Attorney Today
An aggravated assault conviction will become a part of your permanent criminal record, cementing itself to you forever. It can come back to haunt you when you need a job, a home, or credit. If you ever face legal trouble again, even for a minor offense, your prior conviction could come back into play. A conviction means that your entire way of life may change. Do you want to trust your future to just anyone?
If you are facing accusations or charges of assault or aggravated assault get in touch with a legal team that has the experience and skills to aggressively fight for you. At Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian we work tirelessly to build a strategic defense plan for your particular case. Let us hear your side of the story, review all the facts, and layout all your legal options compassionately and transparently. Get the legal representation you need by calling the office of Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian at (972) 369-0577 today.