When Does Assault Become Aggravated Assault in Texas? | Karnes City Defense Attorney

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When Does Assault Become Aggravated Assault in Texas?

 Posted on August 19,2021 in Criminal Defense

texas defense lawyerLike in most states, Texas considers aggravated assault to be worse than just assault. However, where it gets confusing is that there are grades of assault, and depending on the details, an assault charge could be either a misdemeanor or a felony. With such a wide range of charges, when does assault become aggravated assault in Texas?

What is Assault?

According to the Texas Penal Code, an assault could be one of three things: when you threaten to cause bodily harm to another person, when you actually harm them, or when you cause offensive or provocative physical contact with them. 

There are other specific circumstances as well like an attack involving an elderly or disabled person, or a referee at a sporting event. Under any of these conditions, the charge would be a Class A misdemeanor, which carries up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

However, assault becomes a felony if the defendant allegedly attacked a civil or public servant or a government contractor,  has prior convictions on their record, or allegedly commited one of the following:

  • Choking or restricting a person’s breathing

  • Forcing a pregnant woman to have an abortion

  • Attacking a woman knowing she is pregnant

  • Retaliating against a civil servant who is doing his or her job

If you are convicted of any of these, you could face between 2- and 10-years in prison. Additionally, there are multiple other circumstances in which you could commit felonious assault. 

What is Aggravated Assault?

Under Texas law, aggravated assault is when you cause serious bodily injury to another person or use or show a deadly weapon while assaulting the person. While aggravated assault is listed as a felony in Texas, the punishment worsens depending on who you allegedly assaulted. It becomes a first-degree felony if you commit aggravated assault against: 

  • A public servant or a government employee carrying out his or her professional duties. 

  • A witness to a crime, informant, or a person just simply reporting a crime. 

  • A security guard while he or she is on duty. 

A person may also be charged with aggravated assault if he or she is driving and shoots a firearm at a building or another vehicle, or if they assault a person with a badge or uniform identifying him or her as a police or security officer. These offenses are penalized by 5 to 99 years in prison. 

Contact a Karnes City, TX Assault Defense Attorney

If you were arrested for assault or aggravated assault, speak with an experienced Texas criminal defense lawyer right away. Our team of Karnes County criminal defense lawyers at BRCK Criminal Defense Attorneys has more than 40 years of legal experience and a proven track record of providing quality service to our clients. Call us at 830-769-1010 for a free consultation today.



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