Our Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer is often asked about the differences between simple and aggravated assault in Texas.
People who are charged with assault are frequently confused about the difference. Although any assault charge is serious, an aggravated assault is likely to land you in jail while a simple assault may not. While a simple assault is a misdemeanor, an aggravated assault is a felony. If you are charged with the latter, the consequences can be very serious for your future.
Here are some of the key distinctions.
The felony charge of aggravated assault contains the same elements as a simple assault charge. However, there are additional elements.
If the perpetrator brandishes a deadly weapon during the assault or causes serious bodily harm to the victim, the offense becomes an aggravated assault. An aggravated assault conviction can impact your job prospects, and your ability to vote and buy a firearm.
The law defines a deadly weapon. Obviously, a gun is a deadly weapon but a knife can be a deadly weapon as can a dagger, mace, and even stilettos.
The deadly weapon definition includes anything else given the manner of the intended use of the weapon that is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.
Aggravated assault is usually a second-degree felony as stated in Texas Penal Code. However, in certain circumstances, particularly domestic situations, it can be elevated to a first-degree felony, namely:
Although a simple assault is less serious than a felony, there is also a range of misdemeanors. You may end up incarcerated even if you committed a misdemeanor.
A Class A misdemeanor carries a jail term of up to a year. However, a Class C misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of up to $500.
Simple assault in Texas consists of:
Assault is taken very seriously in Texas. If you have been charged with this offense, please contact our Fort Worth criminal defense attorney to schedule a free case evaluation, at The Medlin Law Firm we thrive to create personalized defenses according to your needs.