Aggravated Assault


Harris County Aggravated Assault Defense

Aggravated assault or assault with a deadly weapon is a serious felony offense in Houston.  A conviction for aggravated assault can result in severe penalties, including lengthy prison time and a large fine. Such a conviction can also adversely impact your future, such as by losing many educational, employment, housing and public assistance opportunities. A conviction for such a crime of violence will also prevent you from ever owning or possessing a firearm.

It is important to hire an experienced Houston criminal defense lawyer because criminal charges for aggravated assault do not have to result in a conviction and the resulting lifelong consequences. In order to convict you, the state prosecutor must prove to a jury that you committed every element of the felony offense beyond a reasonable doubt. With an experienced trial lawyer defending you, this is a very difficult burden to meet, and any reasonable doubt in the mind of any of the members of the jury can result in a not guilty verdict or a hung jury. Therefore, it is vital to contact an experienced criminal attorney in Houston who will fight for you.

If you have been charged with the criminal offense of aggravated assault, contact James G. Sullivan and Associates for a free consultation at 281-546-6428. Attorney James (Jim) Sullivan is an experienced trial lawyer who will fight for your rights, freedom and future.

Aggravated Assault in Houston

According to section 22.02 of the Texas Penal Code, an individual can be charged with aggravated assault if they cause serious bodily injury to another or use or exhibit a deadly weapon during the commission of an assault offense.

According to section 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code, an individual can commit assault in Texas if they intentionally or knowingly cause or threaten to cause bodily injury to another person, or cause offensive physical contact to another person.

What is Bodily Injury and Serious Bodily Injury in Texas?

According to section 1.07(a)(8) of the Texas Penal Code, “bodily injury” means physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.

According to section 1.07(a)(46) of the Texas Penal Code, “serious bodily injury” means bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

What is a Deadly Weapon in Texas?

According to case law, three things can qualify as deadly weapon:

  1. firearms;
  2. anything manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting death or serious bodily injury; or
  3. anything else that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.

Examples of Deadly Weapons

There are not many deadly weapons listed as such per se. According to Section 46.01 of the Texas Penal Code, deadly weapons commonly used during the commission of aggravated assault offenses can include any of the following:

  • Clubs
  • Explosive weapons,
  • Firearm,
  • Handgun,
  • Illegal Knife (such as a knife with a blade over five and one-half inches; a hand instrument designed to cut or stab another by being thrown; a dagger, including but not limited to a dirk, stiletto, and poniard; bowie knife; sword; or spear.)
  • Knife,
  • Knuckles,
  • Machine gun,
  • Short-barrel firearm,
  • Switchblade knife
  • Chemical dispensing device, and
  • Zip gun.

Deadly by Manner and Means of Use

Furthermore, according to case law, there is an extensive list of things that can be proven to be deadly by the way the accused used them during the commission of the aggravated assault offense, including:

  • HIV
  • Hammer
  • Pipe
  • Fire
  • Hand
  • Foot
  • Coke bottle
  • Leg of a bar stool
  • Ax handle
  • Motor vehicle
  • Shank
  • Screwdriver
  • BB gun
  • Wooden stick
  • Dustpan
  • Gasoline
  • Dumpster in which a baby is discarded

Punishment for Aggravated Assault in Houston

Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code lists the felony punishment for aggravated assault in Houston.

Aggravated assault is usually charged as a second degree felony. A conviction for such a felony is punishable by a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years and a fine up to $10,000.

However, aggravated assault can be charged as a first degree felony if the assault was committed against:

  • a family member or significant other and causes that person serious bodily injury;
  • a public servant while the public servant was discharging an official duty
  • a security officer while the officer is performing a duty as a security officer; or
  • in retaliation against a witness, prospective witness, informant, or person who has reported the occurrence of a crime.

A conviction for a first degree felony is punishable by a prison sentence ranging from five to 99 years or life in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Criminal charges for aggravated assault can also result in a first degree felony conviction if the accused is:

  • in a motor vehicle,
  • knowingly discharges a firearm at or in the direction of a habitation, building or vehicle,
  • is reckless as to whether the habitation, building or vehicle is occupied,
  • and causes serious bodily injury to any person.

The punishment for this offense is also a prison sentence ranging from five to 99 years or life in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Defenses to Aggravated Assault in Houston

Occasionally, and in certain circumstances, there may be legal defenses available to aggravated assault. It is important to discuss with an experienced Houston criminal defense attorney the elements of your criminal charges as that attorney can evaluate your case and advise you as to any appropriate defense.

  • Self-Defense. According to Section 9.31 of the Texas Penal Code, a person is permitted to use force, and sometimes deadly force, against the immediate threat of injury or bodily harm.
  • Lack of a Deadly Weapon. If your criminal defense attorney can show that a deadly weapon was not present, used or exhibited during the commission of the assault offense, the state prosecutor may reduce or dismiss the aggravated assault charges against you.
  • Lack of Intent. Intent is a required culpable mental state to all assault offenses. If your criminal defense lawyer can demonstrate that you did not have the requisite intent to commit assault, the state prosecutor may reduce or dismiss the aggravated assault charges against you.

Grand Jury Defense for Aggravated Assault Charges

If you are accused of aggravated assault, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away because he may be able to win your case at the grand jury.  Once your felony case has been indicted by the grand jury, this option is no longer available.  Attorney James Sullivan has fought and won many felony cases at the grand jury level throughout his almost 20 years of legal practice, including over 20 felony cases in just the past few years.  When a case is dismissed (no billed) by the grand jury, the accused has the immediate right to seek an expunction of the felony charge from their record.  Sullivan has been able to do this for many of his clients accused of felony offenses.

James G. Sullivan and Associates | Harris County Aggravated Assault Attorney

James Sullivan graduated from the Trial Lawyers College founded by Legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization. Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas.

Contact James Sullivan & Associates for a free initial consultation at 281-546-6428 about your aggravated assault charges.

CRIMINAL OFFENSEACTUAL RESULTS - CRIMINAL AND JUVENILE CASESCT #
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)JURY TRIAL SETTING: DISMISSED BY STATE (Juvenile client allegedly attacked an older boy with a handmade weapon after the older came over to his house to kill him)315th
Aggravated Assault Family Violence (2° felony)CASE DISMISSED BY GRAND JURY (Client accused of trying to run her baby's daddy over with her Jeep and with their young son on the front passenger seat and in view of two nearby independent witnesses. In reality, he threw his bicycle in front of her Jeep to cause her to come to a screeching halt and then cursed at her. After she drove off, he lied to the witnesses about what happened)180th
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR DEADLY CONDUCT AFTER IT WAS SET FOR A JURY TRIAL (Client was accused of threatening a woman with a firearm in Galveston County)405th
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)Punishment reduced to 9 months probation at home until age 18 (At age 16, Client got into a fight with an 18 year old drug dealer in Brazoria County that resulted in the dealer requiring brain surgery. The State only offered 5 years determinate probation or to certify him as an adult with deferred adjudication. Sullivan insisted on a jury trial or a regular probation that could be sealed at age 19. The State backed down and agreed)CCL 4
AGGRAVATED ASSAULT FAMILY MEMBER (2° Felony)NO BILLED BY GRAND JURY (Client shot his brother in the side after his brother stabbed him in the arm. The client's brother was high on synthetic marihuana)
AGGRAVATED ASSAULT (2° Felony)NO BILLED BY GRAND JURY (Client accused of shooting another guy's motorcycle twice while the guy was on it after the guy had broken the client's custom table)
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)CASE DISMISSED (Juvenile client ran over drug dealer to save friend's life. The complainant suffered a broken hip. The case was re-filed as a Failure to Stop and Render Aid and then the new case was also later dismissed)315th
Aggravated Assault Family Violence (2° felony)CASE DISMISSED (Juvenile client was accused of threatening her mother with a steak knife)315th
Aggravated Assault Family Violence (2° felony)CASE DISMISSED BY GRAND JURY (Client was accused of intentionally trying to drive into and strike his girlfriend) - Case # 1341002183rd
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)CASE DISMISSED (Juvenile client was accused of threatening to stab classmate in the neck with a pair of sharp scissors)314th
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT - Case # 1317892232nd
Aggravated Assault Family Violence (2° felony)REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT314th
Aggravated Assault (1° Felony enhanced based on prior penitentiary trips) (2 cases)CLIENT SENTENCED TO 5 YEARS TDC ON JURY TRIAL SETTING AFTER FACING 5 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON (State's best offer was 10 years prior to trial) Cases # 1281492 and 1281493174th
Aggravated Assault Family Violence (2° felony)CLIENT RECEIVED DEFERRED ADJUDICATION PROBATION AFTER SENTENCING HEARING (Client with mental illness stabbed his girlfriend in the arm and upper back. State only offered prison time) - Case # 1287564174th
Aggravated Assault Family Violence (2° felony)CASE DISMISSED BY GRAND JURY (Client accused of intentionally driving into and hitting the new girlfriend of her ex-boyfriend) - Case # 1302447232nd
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT - Case # 1303747232nd
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)CASE DISMISSED BY GRAND JURY (Client accused of hitting man in head with beer bottle outside a bar; client claimed self-defense) - Case # 1302814232nd
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)CASE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT AFTER IT WAS SET FOR JURY TRIAL - Case # 1265758178th
Aggravated Assault Against a Public Servant (1° Felony)CASE DISMISSED BY GRAND JURY (Police Officer shot at 4 unarmed teenagers in a truck and claimed that client pointed a gun at him) - Case # 1291937263rd
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)NOT GUILTY VERDICT BY JURY (Client believed he was about to be robbed by 2 men outside a bar; client claimed self-defense) - Case Expunged232nd
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR DEADLY CONDUCT - Case # 1290201338th
Aggravated Assault (Felony Habitual)CASE DISMISSED AFTER CLIENT FACED 25 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON - Case # 1239044338th
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR DEADLY CONDUCT - Case # 1285161174th
Motion to Adjudicate Guilt (Aggravated Assault)(2° Felony)MOTION TO ADJUDICATE DISMISSED AND CLIENT RE-INSTATED ON PROBATION - Case # 1260519174th
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)CASE DISMISSED BY GRAND JURY (Client accused of hitting other woman in head with metal pole) - Case # 1281977174th
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR DEADLY CONDUCT - Case # 1290201338th
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)CASE DISMISSED BY GRAND JURY - Case # 1290201180th
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT - Case # 1280607178th
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)CASE DISMISSED BY GRAND JURY - Case # 1270564176th
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)CASE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR TERRORISTIC THREAT315th
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)CASE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR DEADLY CONDUCT ON DAY OF JURY TRIAL - Case # 1226099179th
Aggravated Assault Family Violence (2° felony)CASE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT315th
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)CASE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR DEADLY CONDUCT - Case # 1221493339th
Aggravated Assault Family Violence (2° felony)CASE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT - Case # 1194679179th
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)CASE DISMISSED315th
Aggravated Assault Family Violence (2° felony)CASE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR DEADLY CONDUCT - Case # 1222418339th
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)CASE DISMISSED BY GRAND JURY - Case # 1203539337th
Aggravated Assault Family Violence (2° felony)CASE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT - Case # 1203539232nd
Assault Against a Public Servant (3° felony)CASE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR ATTEMPTED ASSAULT AGAINST PUBLIC SERVANT - Case # 1182184179th
Aggravated Assault (2° felony)CASE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT - Case # 1173402337th

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.