Each year in the Denton area, there are numerous charges of aggravated assault made against individuals. One of those individuals was recently charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he held his girlfriend at knifepoint. The incident occurred after law enforcement arrived at a location to discover that several unidentified people were at the individual’s home. While the victim of the assault at first denied anything had occurred, the woman was later discovered to be scared because her boyfriend had held her down with a knife and threatened to kill her. The individual was then placed under arrest. Law enforcement later learned that multiple stops had been made at the individual’s home and that the individual had been arrested 13 times. Because aggravated assault charges have the potential to result in particularly severe consequences, individuals in the state of Texas should know some key details about aggravated assault charges.
Applicable law in the state of Texas defines aggravated assault as consisting of two particular elements:
- Intent: An individual must have committed the act intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly.
- The Assault: An individual commits an assault. Assault can include a physical act that results in bodily injury, threats of bodily injury, offensive physical contact, or unconsented physical contact.
Aggravated assaults are more serious charges because a deadly weapon is used. Many aggravated assaults are classified as second-degree felonies, which can result in a potential of up to 20 years in prison.
A first-degree felony can result in a maximum of 99 years in prison. Aggravated assaults will be classified as first degree felonies if:
- Serious bodily injury occurs and the individuals are in a domestic relationship.
- The offense is committed by a public servant during the course of employment.
- The act is committed against a known public servant in the course of duty.
- The act is performed as retaliation against an individual who has served as a witness.
- The act is committed against a known security officer while in the course of employment.
- The act is committed by an individual in a motor vehicle who knowingly and recklessly discharges a firearm at an occupied home or vehicle and causes serious bodily injury.
There are several types of defenses that individuals are able to raise in response to charges of aggravated assault. Some of the available defenses include:
- Defense of Another: This defense argues that the amount of force that was used was a “reasonable” method of protecting another individual.
- Defense of Property: In a limited number of situations, it is lawful for individuals to use force to protect their property.
- Prevention of a Crime: This defense argues that the force that was used was necessary to prevent a crime that would have otherwise occurred.
- Self Defense: Individuals can argue that the amount of force that was used was necessary to protect against harm from another.
Reasons to Contact a Talented Criminal Defense Lawyer
Aggravated assault is a particularly serious charge in the state of Texas, which frequently requires the assistance of a skilled attorney. At Wheeler Law Office, our legal counsel will fight to make sure that your case resolves in the best possible manner.
(image courtesy of Matěj Baťha)