The state of Texas takes violent crimes very seriously. Being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon may have serious consequences, such as prison time and large fines. It is important to seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon so that you may begin building defenses in your case and ensure that your legal rights are protected.
The elements of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
An individual may be convicted of assault if that individual intentionally or knowingly injures someone else, threatens to injure someone else, or physically contacts another in such a way that is offensive or provocative.
Assault becomes aggravated assault if the above conditions are met and:
- A victim is seriously injured
- The accused used or exhibited a deadly weapon during the assault.
Aggravated assault is a second degree felony. Second degree felonies carry sentences of between 2 and 20 years in prison. In addition, a fine of up to $10,000 may be ordered.
Aggravated assault is a first degree felony if the accused used a weapon during the incident and caused serious bodily injury to a family member.
Aggravated assault is also a first degree felony if committed by a public servant acting under the public servant’s place of employment.
The crime is also a first degree felony if the victim is a public servant.
If the accused was in a vehicle and fired a gun from the vehicle, the offense may also be a first degree felony.
First degree felonies carry terms of between 5 and 99 years in prison. A fine of no more than $10,000 may also be ordered.
Defenses to aggravated assault charges
Prosecutors must prove all elements of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that a jury would be able to draw no other conclusion but that the accused committed the crime. If a jury has any doubt that the accused committed the crime, a conviction is not proper.
Criminal defense attorneys are tasked with forcing the prosecution to produce any and all evidence of a crime. If prosecutors cannot provide valid evidence of each element of a crime, criminal defense will file motions to have the charges reduced or dismissed.
A common defense in many crimes is that the accused’s constitutional rights were violated before, during, or after the arrest. For example, if an individual was not informed of his Miranda rights during an arrest, those charges may be reduced or dismissed. Evidence that is recovered at the scene of a crime during an illegal search is usually barred from being used in court to support criminal charges.
Another defense that is used in many assault charges is self-defense. If the accused is able to show that he was in fear of being harmed by the victim, the accused may be able to argue self-defense. It is important that the accused responded with force similar to what the victim was exhibiting for a claim of self-defense to stand.
The sooner a criminal defense attorney is hired, the sooner that attorney may begin working on a case to build a strong defense. A favorable outcome is much more likely with a criminal defense attorney.
Have you been charged with aggravated assault?
If you are facing the felony charge of aggravated assault, contact the Hampton Eppes Law Group today. Brian Eppes is a former prosecutor with experience in all types of criminal cases. To schedule your free consultation, call 817-877-5201 or visit www.hamptonlegalgroup.com.