Fort Worth Assault with a Deadly Weapon Lawyer
If you are facing assault charges that involve the use of a deadly weapon in Texas, you could be facing a lengthy prison sentence and a significant fine. However, you have options.
If you are accused of assault, you should consult with a Fort Worth assault with a deadly weapon lawyer before you talk to any investigators or prosecutors about any aspect of your case. Our experienced team of attorneys could help you fully understand the charges you are facing and how to fight them.
Legal Definition of Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Under Texas law, assault with a deadly weapon is one type of “aggravated assault” (the other type occurs when someone causes a serious bodily injury to another person). More specifically, an assault with a deadly weapon occurs when someone allegedly uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of an assault.
In order to fully understand the crime of assault with a deadly weapon in Texas, it is necessary to know how the terms “assault” and “deadly weapon” are defined. Those definitions are as follows:
- Assault – a person commits an “assault” if they intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to another person; intentionally or knowingly threaten another person with imminent bodily injury; or intentionally or knowingly cause physical contact with another person and know (or should know) that the other person would regard the contact as offensive or provocative
- Deadly Weapon – the term “deadly weapon” includes firearms plus anything else that is designed to – or that can be used to – inflict death or serious bodily injury to another person
Taking the statutory definitions altogether, the result is assault with a deadly weapon, which occurs when someone uses a firearm or almost any other object to harm – or threaten to harm – another person. This means that this offense can occur even though the other person never received any bodily injury.
As is true in most criminal matters, the defenses that can be raised on behalf of someone who was charged with assault with a deadly weapon will depend, in large part, on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. In general, however, the most common defenses to this type of charge include lack of intent, mistaken identity, self-defense or defense of another, and verifiable alibi.
In order to be successful in an assault with a deadly weapon case, the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, every element of that crime. Thus, another way a Fort Worth assault with a deadly weapon lawyer could defend such a case is to challenge whether the prosecution has successfully met its burden-of-proof on each such element.
Possible Penalties in Fort Worth
Assault with a deadly weapon is usually prosecuted as a second-degree felony. As such, it is punishable by a prison sentence of two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Under certain circumstances, assault with a deadly weapon will be prosecuted as a first-degree penalty, which means that the potential penalties are increased to a prison term of five to 99 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
Circumstances that will result in this higher-level prosecution include when the alleged victim is:
- A security officer or a public servant
- A family member or domestic partner
- A witness in a criminal case
Working with a Fort Worth Assault with A Deadly Weapon Attorney
Because of the severe penalties that can be imposed on anyone who is found guilty of the crime of assault with a deadly weapon, it is important that you consult with a lawyer who is thoroughly familiar with this type of case.
A Fort Worth assault with a deadly weapon lawyer could answer any questions you may have about this type of case and ensure your legal rights are fully protected throughout the prosecutorial process. Call today to learn how our attorneys can help you.