When a simple assault turns more violent – either through the use of a weapon or due to the intent of the perpetrator – a simple assault charge can be upgraded to an aggravated assault charge. Notably, most aggravated assault charges are felonies under Texas law.
A weapon does not even have to be used in an assault for the charge to be upgraded. Aggravated assault charges to be considered if one person threatens another using, or implying that the weapon will be used.
In addition, aggravated assault can also be charged if it can be proven that a perpetrator either had the intent to do serious bodily harm to a victim, or acted recklessly with indifference toward human life.
In other cases, an assault charge can be upgraded to aggravated assault simply because of who the crime was committed against. This generally applies to those who assault policemen, firefighters, paramedics, teachers and other protected classes.
Defending against aggravated assault charges
An experienced criminal defense attorney may draw upon any number of defenses when a client is charged with aggravated assault. Some of these defenses may include:
Self-defense – the most common of all defenses. If you can prove you were being attacked, or that you were genuinely scared that you could face bodily harm at the hands of another, then self-defense may be a viable option.
Defending others is similar to self-defense and is employed when you step in to defend someone else if they are being attacked or threatened.
Defending your property may also be a valid defense if a person enters onto your property or in your home and makes credible threats against you or your family.
No assault took place is a defense that basically pits your word against your accuser(s). This may be a solid strategy if you can introduce enough reasonable doubt.
The Law Office of Maverick Ray serves clients in Houston, Pasadena and other nearby Texas communities.